The total number of Boro Speakers in India according to 2001 census is 1,350,478 in which 683,191 are males and 667,287 are females.
The Table below shows Mother tongues grouped under Boro Language
|Mother Tongues||Number of Speakers|
The main places of habitat of the Boro speech community are Assam, West Bengal, Arunachal Pradesh, Nagaland etc. The maximum concentration of Boro speakers is in the northern part of the Brahmaputra valley. In Assam, Boro is spoken in the districts of Kokrajhar,Bongaigaon,Barpeta,Nalbari,Kamrup,Darrang and in certain parts of the Dhubri and Goalpara districts.
The following table gives a picture of Male-Female distribution of Boro speakers, inhabited in the States and Union Territories of India, as per 2001 census.
|India/State/Union Territory||Total Number of Persons||Male||Female|
|Jammu & Kashmir||296||276||20|
|Dadra & Nagar Haveli||8||8||0|
|Daman & Diu||5||5||0|
|Andaman & Nicobar Islands||5||1||4|
The figures of the Rural-Urban distribution of Boro speakers in the States and Union Territories of India, as per 2001 census:
|Jammu and Kashmir||296||72||224|
|Dadra & Nagar Haveli||8||7||1|
|Daman & Diu||5||5||0|
|Andaman & Nicobar Islands||5||5||0|
The table below shows the decennial growth of Boro speakers in 4 consecutive census reports.
|Year||Language Speakers||Decadal Percentage Increase|
** Full figures is not available as the census was not conducted in 1981.
The following table shows the Rural-Urban/Male-female distribution of Boro population in Assam, as per 2001 census:
Among STs, Boro represents nearly half of the total ST population of the state(40.9 per cent).
Table showing the literacy rate of Boro community(excluding population of age group 0-6) in Assam, according to 2001 Census
According to 2001 census, 61.3% of the Boro population in Assam, are literates. 60.4% and 86.1% of the Boro population are literates in rural and urban community respectively. Of the total Boro male literate population which comprises 71.4%, 70.6% of the rural male and 92.2% of the Urban male are literates, while of the total Boro female literate population which comprises 51.1% ,50.0% of the rural female and 79.6% of the Urban female population are literates.
The following table makes the comparitive study of the literacy rate in rural and urban areas of the Boro community in Assam.
Of the total Boro population which comprises 60.37 % of rural and 86.10% of urban population, the male literacy rate in rural area is 35.51% while in urban area it is 47.41 %. The female literacy rate in rural area is 24.86% while in urban area it is 38.69%.
Assam was the first State to prepare teacher training modules and separate teaching learning materials for the Boro tribal language in 1995. Boro is also a medium of instruction in some districts of Assam. The work on tribal language materials was undertaken through DIET staff and BRC/CRC coordinators who belonged to the tribal community. Resource material in Boro language has been prepared and all workbooks at primary stage have been translated/adopted in Boro language. Still, the literacy rate amongst the tribals is lower than the general or the non-tribals. This is because of their reluctancy for modern education. School dropout is highest among the tribals in all grades and female literacy is also lower than the non-tribals. Unfortunately due to ignorance and reluctance about modern and higher education among tribals and partially due to apathy of government the picture of tribals is not heartening.
The Boros are economically and educationally very poor and underdeveloped. The gloomy picture of illiteracy among Boros has been matter of very great concern. It is well known to all that education promotes a man or a woman towards a better future. It awakens a critical sense in him or her towards the society and towards the people.
Therefore a literate person is an asset of any developing or backward community. Literacy accelerates the pace of development of any society. Literacy promotes self-respect and confidence of one's capabilities. It results in better health awareness and care and increase people's participation in the developmental process of a society. A literate man is more aware of his rights and responsibilities and therefore helps to prevent exploitation towards him as well as towards society.
Now there is an increasing concern about the rise in illiteracy among the Boros. The majority of Boro population is rural and comprises of poor people. This is because a sizeable population among Boros has not been properly integrated into the country's economic structure. A large section of the Boro population are below poverty line and are denied the access to education and health services. The other infrastructures too have not been facilitated to them to the desired level as it should have been. As a result, there is very little development in the pocket areas inhabited by Boro population. It is to be understood that development is not something that may happen inspite of its population remaining illiterate and poor. Denial of the basic right to education to the large section of the society directly affects the development and progress.
Therefore, literacy and education is the only way to development. The community like Boro, facing innumerable problems in all fields, language and literature, political, social and economic etc. can't afford to leave the large section of its population illiterate who remain passive participants in the development process. There is no doubt that the spread of education alone is the active agent of controlling the major ills that the Boro society is inflected with.
It is again reiterated that Boro community is basically an agricultural society. The social structures as well as economy of Boro people are based on agriculture. In a village economy the outlook of farmer is very important to society. Modern methods of farming and the use of modern equipments can increase their production to a great extent. Therefore, an educated farmer can revolutionize farming and contribute a great deal to the society's wealth. State capital combined with enterprise is essential for development of economic potentialities in underdeveloped or developing community like Boros.
Unfortunately, many Boro people in the agricultural sector are quite uneducated and ignorant about the advanced method of production. The process of development of rural based economy can be facilitated with the interest, initiative and active participation of the rural people. The role of government agencies in this regard is to prepare the needed ground for facilitating the process by educating the people and making them aware of the needs for development by imparting necessary training and making available needed inputs. Village reconstruction with self reliance and self sufficiency are the two principal goals to be achieved to meet the challenge of poverty and unemployment as well as to build up the society is also a must in this regard. It is only through utilizing the available man power resources in the best possible way that one can achieve a break through.
Our Indian constitution provides right to education to all Indian citizens. Recently through the 86th amendment of the constitution of India, education to all children between the age group of 6-14 was made compulsory. The "Sarva Siksha Abhiyan" is going on throughout the whole country. The government is using a lot of money for the success of this mission. Inspite of this the "Sarva Siksha Abhiyan" can't completely cover all remote areas predominantly inhabited by the backward classes like the Boros. But the governments mere declaration in papers and electronic media should come forward in practical field to implement such commitment among the backward communities. In fact, the development of Boro society will depend on the success or failure of its mission of eradicating illiteracy.
Copyright CIIL-India Mysore