Anandapur: Activists of Ho Action Committee have started a sit-in protests outside the block offices in Keonjhar and Mayurbhanj districts Friday over their seven-point charter of demands. The main demand was constitutional recognition to Ho language.
People of Ho community staged protests at Anandapur, Udala, Khunta, Bisoi and Bangirisposi blocks. They said over 15 lakh people in the state speak Ho language. People belonging to Ho, Munda, Kolha and Koi communities living in various parts of Mayurbhanj, Keonjhar, Balasore, Bhadrak, Jajpur, Dhenkanal, Angul, Cuttack, Deogarh, Sambalpur and Sundargarh speak the language.
They demanded that the government approved Ho script, promote its use in Anganwadis, universities and primary schools. To promote Ho, there is need to appoint teachers for Ho language, because everyone has a right to be taught in his/her mother tongue as guaranteed in Article 350 of the Constitution, they pointed out.
They said they and their children have to deal with various communication problems at offices and other places. As long as the Ho language is not recognized officially, Ho-speaking people will face problems in getting into the social mainstream.
A delegation of Anandapur Ho Action Committee submitted a memorandum addressed to the Prime Minister and the Chief Minister through BDO Umakant Parida.
Over 2,000 people affiliated to Ho Samaj also took out a rally on this issue at Bangiriposi block Friday while their leader Maskal Sampurti asserted that over 30 lakah people in Odisha spoke Ho language.
At Udala, Ho leaders like Basant Kumar Singh, Manoj Kumar Singh and Ganeswar Singh warned of an agitation if their demands are not fulfilled.
The Ho leaders said Singh Banga Arshal Akal, an outfit of the Ho community will hold a dharna in New Delhi seeking fulfilment of their demands in December.