U.S.Embassy shortlists two tribal Indian students for cultural learning programme

Bubhaneswar (Odisha), Dec.7 : The Embassy of the United States has selected two Indian tribal students for cultural exchange and learning programme, covering a 21 day trip to the United States, an initiative fostering educational exchange between two nations.

Bhutal Hansdah and Shantilata Murmu both students of class eight are from very remote tribal areas of eastern province of Odisha.

Hansdah is an orphan and Murmu's parents are daily wage labourers who have been striving hard to make ends meet and educate their daughter.

The students were thrilled about the exchange programme and their first trip to the US.

"We are going to the US to know more about their culture and we will visit the museum and also interact with the people there. We will try to know more about their culture from the students with whom we meet and interact and also tell them about our culture (tribal culture) and our people," said Bhutal Hansdah.

The students have been selected to attend the 'US Cultural Immersion Institute-2014' under the English access micro-scholarship programme.

Both the students had joined the programme for three months and were selected by American consulate authorities on the basis of their good performance and fluency with English language.

"They have been selected by the US embassy under English access micro scholarship programme to visit America for 21 days along with the other students from Pakistan and India," said Achyuta Samanta, founder of the school where the two students study.

During their trip they would get hands on opportunities leadership, multiculturalism, and community service, and interfaith dialogue.

Odisha still lags behind when it comes to tribal education.

According to recent statistics released in July this year, the literacy rate among tribals living in the province is just 37 per cent against the general literacy rate of 63 per cent.

--ANI (Posted on 07-12-2013)

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