WHO WE ARE
Here at Nirmaan, we envisage a just and equal society where marginalised language communities realise their fullest potential. Our mission is to assist society in ensuring that marginalised language communities are afforded equal opportunity to secure a wholistic, dignified and self-sustainable quality of life, by empowering their development.
WHAT ARE MARGINALISED LANGUAGE COMMUNITIES?
When dividing India into administrative units, the government chose languages as one of the major deciding factors in defining the boundaries of each state. The Indian constitution recognises 22 languages, which are also known as the scheduled languages of the nation. Most official communications are done in one of the scheduled languages or English. Interestingly, English is not listed as a scheduled language!
However, there are far more languages spoken across the country than just these 22 officially recognised languages. Our estimate is that India is home to around 500+ languages! These language speakers are mostly discouraged from using their languages in public, and encouraged to use only the scheduled languages – for official purposes, for education, in public forum etc.
This disparity has manifested in a number of ways, depending on the manner in which these issues were tackled by the communities themselves. Few have continued to proudly hold on to their history and hold their language in high esteem. However, most language communities have resorted to limiting to using their languages in their homes or in their communities. Over time, they have developed a sense of shame or “less-than” attitude with regard to their language.
In addition to this sense of shame, these language communities have been stifled by Indian society at large, who has done little in empowering their ways of life. Unsurprisingly, these communities lack sufficient skills in state language, leading to high incidence of illiteracy. This in turn limits them to traditional livelihood, with no opportunity to the life afforded to other communities, or to learn the intricacies new agricultural practices and technological advances. As a result, most of these communities are underdeveloped, their limitation being their unique languages!