Patnaik inaugurates first World Odia Language Conference

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Bhubaneswar, Feb 3 (PTI) Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik on Saturday inaugurated the first ever 'Biswa Odia Bhasha Sammilani' (World Odia Language Conference) here at Janata Maidan.

The conference was inaugurated with the singing of 'Bande Utkala Janani', the state anthem of Odisha. All the Odias in the conference and across the state and abroad joined the festival of Odia language by singing the state anthem at the same time.

Employees of different government organisations, school and college students, cops and non-resident Odias recited the anthem during the inauguration.

Speaking on the occasion, the chief minister said his government will accept the recommendations of the conference and formulate a dedicated language policy for the state, which will pave the way for the future development of Odia language.

Modern culture and technology has an impact on the language. Therefore, there is a need for detailed discussion on all aspects of the language. There should be a thorough discussion on the creation of good literature and for better use of the Odia language, he suggested.

Expressing pleasure over the recognition of Odia language as a classical language, the chief minister said that language is the future. The state government has set up Odia University for the development of Odia language and promoting Odia language study.

Patnaik said, "Today we have all come together on one stage for the Odia language. Odias residing in India and abroad have also joined in the conference. Renowned Odia writers and researchers have also participated in it. It is a glorious time for Odia language and literature." He appealed to all to work together for the development of Odia language.

Renowned Odia author and linguist Debi Prasanna Pattanayak was honoured with Lifetime Achievement Award for his outstanding contribution to Odia language and linguistics. He has been felicitated with a memento and cash award of Rs 20 lakh by the chief minister.

Patnaik also felicitated Odia writers Pratibha Ray and Sitakant Mahapatra during the inaugural function.

The conference, which will continue till February 5, will have 16 sessions and a special session on Jagannath consciousness.

A walk-through museum has also been set up to showcase the history of Odia language. International delegation from four countries, language experts from different parts of India and 20 Odia associations are attending the conference, said Sujata R Karthikeyan, secretary, Odia language, literature and culture department.

The recommendations and outputs of the conference will be implemented by the Odisha government, she added. PTI BBM BBM RG

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