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Reviving Toto Language: Challenges and Preservation Solution



  Sep 29, 2023

Language on Decline



What is the Toto Language?

Toto is a Sino-Tibetan language primarily spoken by the Toto tribal community, a small group of around 1,600 people residing in parts of West Bengal near the Bhutan border.
While the language has its own script developed in 2015, it is more commonly written in Bengali script due to its nascent stage and the community's familiarity with Bengali.

Why Is Toto Declining?

Dominance of Bengali and Hindi: The overwhelming presence of larger languages like Bengali and Hindi diminishes the growth and survival prospects of Toto.

Urbanization and Migration: As members of the Toto community seek better opportunities in cities, they often adapt to more commonly spoken languages.

Lack of Formal Education: The absence of Toto in mainstream educational curricula limits the younger generation's exposure to the language.

Limited Government Support: Toto's lack of recognition by the Indian government restricts avenues for its promotion and preservation.

What Can Be Done?

Government Recognition: Campaign for Toto's inclusion in the Eighth Schedule of the Indian Constitution, which offers languages official status and financial support for their development.

Educational Inclusion: Collaborate with the education boards of West Bengal to include Toto as an optional language in schools.

Community Broadcasting: Utilize India's well-established community radio network to create Toto-centric programming.

Digital Initiatives: Leverage India's burgeoning tech industry to develop apps or websites focused on teaching and preserving Toto.
 
The Toto Shabda Sangraha dictionary is a significant initiative for the preservation and revival of the Toto language. This monumental effort not only aids in documentation but also serves as a symbol of cultural preservation, uniting people in the cause to save a rich but endangered part of human heritage.#PreserveTotoLanguage

By acknowledging the unique heritage and cultural importance of Toto, these steps can offer a blueprint for saving this endangered language.


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