Inculcating reading habit among children will strengthen their foundational literacy & personality: Naidu

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Cuttack/Bhubaneswar, Apr 2 (PTI) Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu on Friday said inculcating reading habit among children from a young age will help strengthen their foundational literacy and personality.

The vice-president called upon the educationists, intellectuals, parents and teachers to bestow special attention in promoting the reading habit among children and underlined the importance of reading in the development of children's personalities.

'This is imperative for their (children) personalities to develop and to wean away children from excessive use of gadgets,' Naidu said while addressing Odia Adikabi Sarala Das's 600th birth anniversary function in Cuttack.

While stressing on the uses of mother tongue among the people, particularly children, the vice-president said reading and writing should be inculcated by teachers to strengthen foundational literacy. More authors should write books for children. These books should be written and illustrated keeping in view the children's varying interests and abilities, he said.

Noting that he has been championing the cause of promoting the use of the mother tongue in every state, the vice-president said: 'Firstly, the medium of instruction up to primary school must be in the mother tongue or local language.

Many studies have already catalogued the advantages of studying in mother tongue during early schooling. Besides, the administration and the judiciary too should use the local language to effectively communicate with the people'.

On Adikabi Sarala Das's literary achievements, Naidu said the Mahabharata written by him has not dimmed among Odia people even after hundreds of years because of his unique style and diction. He said this shows the importance of writing and communicating with the people in simple, colloquial language.

Hailing Sarala Das as not just Adi Kabi, but also as Adi Aitihasika (historian) and Adi Bhougolbith (geographer), Naidu said Sarala Das was a pioneer in democratizing literature as he had used colloquial language as early as the 15th century.

Naidu compared Sarala Das with Kabir and Yogi Vemana, while highlighting great poets having an extraordinary ability to communicate complex emotions and ideas in a simple language and leave a lasting impression on a wide cross-section of readers.

Hailing Sarala Das as a literary genius, who earned the title of 'The Father of Odia Language', Naidu said that he has enriched Odia language and culture. 'No wonder, Odia came to be recognised by the Government of India as a Classical Language of India with Sarala Das standing as a beacon', he added.

On this occasion, Naidu complimented Biswa Bhushan Harchandan, Governor of Andhra Pradesh, for being conferred with the prestigious 'Kalinga Ratna'.

Earlier in the day, the vice-president has released the book titled 'Neelimarani My Mother, My Hero', written by MP Achyut Samanta at Raj Bhavan in Bhubaneswar.

'Generally we read biographies of great leaders, entrepreneurs and explorers. But it is heart-warming that today we are releasing the biography of a mother, because it is the mother who makes a man or woman great through her upbringing and values. I congratulate and compliment Achyuta Samanta ji for putting down in words the life and struggle of his late mother Smt Neelimarani j,' he said.

On his arrival at the Biju Patnaik International Airport, Naidu was welcomed by Odisha Governor Ganeshi Lal and Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik. PTI AAM RG RG