BJD MP Dr Sasmit Patra on Tuesday called upon the inclusion of three major tribal languages of Odisha, Ho, Mundari and Bhumij in the 8th Schedule of the Constitution. Raising the demand in a Special Mention in Rajya Sabha, he said language is extremely important for an ethnic identity. With a Scheduled Tribe population of over 22.85 per cent, Odisha is home to 62 tribal communities, including 13 Particularly Vulnerable Tribal Groups (PVTG). Inclusion of Ho, Mundari and Bhumij languages will go a long way in fulfilling the long-standing demands and aspirations of the tribal communities speaking these three languages in Odisha, he said.
He said the Chief Minister of Odisha had written in this regard to the Home Affairs Minister of India last year.
Ho is spoken by nearly 10 lakh tribal people living in Odisha and Jharkhand after Santhali, which has already been included, he said.
Mundari is spoken by more than six lakh people belonging to the Munda and Mundari tribes of Odisha while Bhumij is spoken by about three lakh people.