IMPHAL, December 29: Although there is no lack of writers and authors in the State, there is an abject lack of support and encouragement for the writers from the general public, Education minister Moirangthem Okendra said today.
He was speaking at the awards distribution ceremony of the Manipur State Award for Literature 2014 at the Manipur Film Development Corporation auditorium.
The award which is the highest official recognition conferred by the State government in the field of literature and which carries a cash prize of Rs 3 lakhs, a citation and a shawl was conferred to Keisham Priyokumar for his collection of short stories ‘Nongkhong Tamna.’
The award distribution function was organized by the Team Education which comprises the departments of Language Planning and Implementation, Education (Schools), Higher and Technical Education, State Council for Education Research & Training Adult Education, State Sarva Siksha Abhiyan (SSA) Society, State Rashtriya Madhyamik Siksha Abiyan (RMSA) Society, Board of Secondary Education, Manipur and Council of Higher Secondary Education, Manipur.
Okendro said the team Education was established in the year 2012 under an initiative of the Chief Minister Okram Ibobi Singh to promote the education sector in the State.
Expressing hope that the Team Education will be achieving a lot in the coming years, the minister also said that although there are some visible development in the sector since the conception of the Team Education, the level of aspiration it has created is still not yet satisfactory.
During its initial incetion period the Manipur State Award for Literature had a cash component of only Rs 1 lakh, however, it was raised to Rs 3 lakhs since 2013-14, he said.
The award is sponsored by the Government of Manipur since 2008 with a view to honour and award recognition to writers for their contributions to Manipur literature.
His department, he said also plans to constitute a Life-time Achievement Award carrying a cash-prize of Rs 5 lakhs.
The whole process for the award has been completed, and the department is waiting for nod from the cabinet so that it may be conferred from next year, he said.
The government has been taking up steps to improve the education sector and at the same time encourage writers despite of all the financial constraints faced, he said.
Stating that it is a lot of work to rewrite the Manipur ancient history in the Meitei Mayek script, he called on the different civil organisations of the State to come forward and help in the government’s endeavour.
He said the work of the department of Language Planning and Implementation is huge although the staff strength is very less. At the same time, most of its staff are contractual, he added.
The minister also said that he will table before the cabinet the issue of providing the contract staff regular appointment.