The formation of a group or an association to achieve a certain goal is a part of the solution to the
problem and not an end by itself, but adopting realistic and objective methods with a view to realizing
the goal in a cost effective way is another problem. With the above constraint in mind, it is our effort
to bring innovative projects related to the development of Santal society and execute them successfully. As such Wesanthals
e-group is not an association and does not have any formal rules, regulations or office bearers, but for executing any
project, its members can work along with local organizations and/or form small group drawing members from this e-group as
well as outside to carry out the project. How and when it will be done is
a matter of debate and to know the details of any ongoing project (social, developmental or linguistic), please subscribe
to the Wesanthals mailing list.
The projects that
we are planning to carry out can be broadly classified into three categories as shown below and the detail
status of the ongoing projects are given subsequently.
- Computerization of Ol Chiki script.
- Development of Santali language.
- Social and Development works for the upliftment of Santal Society.
The Ol Chiki Script Computerization Project:
In the Ol Chiki Script Computerization Project, it is an effort from the
members of Wesanthals e-group and other volunteers to provide effective solutions for the problems of using Ol
Chiki script in computers for publication purposes. The main aim of this project is to look at the computerization aspect
of Ol Chiki and its implementations. Since the use of Ol Chiki script in computers is still in initial stages, there are lots
of work to be done to make any headway in this project. The major problem in this project is that there were earlier
almost no efforts by any Santal organization or the Government or any individual. Therefore, this project needs to be
started from scratch and develop it slowly. Apart from this problem, a project like this faces the dearth
of human and financial resources. The next most important task ahead of
us is to make these tools available to common people for their normal use. However, we would like to drive this project slowly
but determinedly. Towards these objectives, we have identified the following goals in order of priority for the
OL Chiki computerization project.
- To develop true
type Ol Chiki fonts and make them available to users free of cost.
- To make efforts for
encoding Ol Chiki script in Unicode.
- To bring out online Santali
newsapers/magazines in Ol Chiki.
- To develop online
Santali dictionary in Ol Chiki.
- To develop software
for the transliteration of Ol Chiki script to any Indic or Roman script.
- To develop the spelling
checker for Santali language in Ol Chiki for open source word processors.
- To develop software
for the translation of Santali language to other languages.
Ol Chiki Fonts:
Free true type Ol Chiki fonts have been developed by the members of
Wesanthals. These fonts can be used for personal as well as commercial purposes without paying any royalty. Presently,
we have a total of seven types Ol Chiki fonts. The font for handwriting version of Ol Chiki USARA OL has also been developed.
Now there is a need to convert all Ol Chiki true type fonts to open type ones. We are planning to bring out all Ol Chiki
open type fonts under GNU General Public License (GPL). For downloading fonts, please click here to download the Ol Chiki fonts.
Keyboard standardization for Ol Chiki script is also in progress. We
have already suggested a draft keyboard mapping for Ol Chiki script. Presently, all free Ol Chiki fonts use this mapping,
and many people use these fonts for printing books, magazines and other purposes too. After a year or so, we
would like to have user feedback for the same. Then an evaluation will be made for its suitability and flawlessness before
making it standard for Ol Chiki script. If you are interested to contribute by evaluating or suggesting any alternatives,
please contact us. Please click here for the keyboard mapping.
Encoding of Ol Chiki in Unicode:
ISO/IEC 10646 is a character set standard, published in 1993 by the International
Organization for Standardization (ISO). Its name is "Universal Multiple-Octet Coded Character Set" and its acronym is UCS.
As of now, the major Indic scripts have already been included in the standard. Why will the Ol Chiki lag behind in this
race? To achieve this goal, a revised proposal for encoding of Ol Chiki in Unicode has been submitted and is presently
under investigation of Unicode technical committee. The revised proposal is written by Prof. R. C. Hansdah and Mr. N. C. Murmu
with the active assistance of Mr. Michael Everson( Everson typography ) and plentiful inputs and helps from our
Wesanthals members. Please click here to get the draft proposal.
Santali News Papers/Magazines in Ol Chiki:
Sometime back, an online web-based Santali magazine was a dream but
now, it is a reality. The first ever-online Santali News Paper/Magazine, named DISOM KHOBOR, is being published
since October 2002. The main effort for this project came from Mr. Fudan Majhi and his group, and presently it has both
printed as well as Internet edition.
The Santali Language Development Project:
Although Santali language has been studied extensively, it was mainly
done for research purposes, and there are an impressive number of works for understanding the various aspects of
Santali language. As of now there are a good number of dictionary and grammar books on Santali, but these books are mainly
intended for advanced researchers and linguists. Practically, no dictionary and grammar books exist for the common Santal
people themselves. Therefore, it is our effort to bring out handy dictionary(Santali
to English/Bengali/Hindi/Oriya, and vice versa ) and grammar books in Ol Chiki. We feel that
this project should be given priority as these books are really needed by the Santal people, and we are working towards it.
If you feel that you can contribute towards this goal or alternatively if you know someone who is willing and can contribute
towards this project, please intimate us. Indeed, we are looking for such people. Here is a brief list of projects:
- Formation of All
India group for the promotion and development of Ol Chiki script and creation of pressure groups for the inclusion of Santali
language in the 8th schedule of the Indian constitution.
- Development of simplified
Santali dictionary books to other languages and vice versa in Ol Chiki script.
- Development of a
simplified Santali grammar book in Ol Chiki script.
- Creation of database
of all Santali books written in Ol Chiki and their publishers.
- Web-based tutorial
for Ol Chiki scripts.
All India group for the promotion of Ol Chiki script:
The formation of all India group to promote the use of Ol Chiki
script by actively encouraging the publication of magazines, contributing science articles in various magazines or newspapers
etc. is one of the important step in realizing the projects in Santali language development. The main objective of this group
is to make concerted efforts for the publication of Santali books and magazines in Ol Chiki script. This group actively encourages
all like minded people to come together and work concertedly towards its declared goals. Helping to revive old magazines,
bringing out new magazines or any other publications are some of their main goals. The revival of SAGEN SAKAM magazine,
and starting of the new magazines KAPURMULI and DISOM KHOBOR are part of these efforts. Apart from
these works, the group members actively contribute articles in the magazines. A partial list of people involved in this
group are: Prof. R. C. Hansdah, Mr. Salkhu Majhi, Prof. Digamber Hansda, Mr. Sudarsan Hembrom, Mr. Fudan Majhi, Mr. D. C.
Soren, and Mr. Thakurdas Murmu.
Creation of database of all Santali books in Ol Chiki and
The main aim of this project is to make a database of Santali books in Ol Chiki
and their publishers. Right now there is a partial database of these books, and their publishers. The main contributors in
this project are Prof. R. C. Hansdah, Mr. Salkhu Majhi, Mr. D. C. Soren, Mr. I. G. Soren and Mr. N. C. Murmu. Now efforts
are on to include all spectrum of information related to Santals and Santali literatures.
Web-based Ol Chiki tutorial:
In the absence of organized information regarding Ol Chiki script, it
is often found that many people including the researchers and readers misunderstand the Ol Chiki script. Especially,
the concept of Santali vowels was the major source of confusion for quite some time. In reality, there are very little difference among
the dialects spoken by the Santals of different regions. Therefore, we have made efforts to bring out such a tutorial especially
for the researchers and academicians, and have tried to clear any doubts that they may have. The tutorial is written
by Prof. R. C. Hansdah and Mr. N. C. Murmu. Please click here to go this page.
The Social, and Developmental Projects:
As the Santal community does have plenty of problems, we are in need
of resources in terms of money as well as manpower. In broad spectrum, it is decided to focus more on the literacy improvement
programs and poverty amelioration programs. The projects related to them are currently under discussion in
Wesanthals e-group, and some outlines of these projects can be found in the mailing lists.
The people interested
in these projects are requested to contact some of the people in the group over E-mail. A partial list of these peiple
are: Mr. Sanatan Hansda (firstname.lastname@example.org ), Dr. Ganesh Chandra Kisku (email@example.com ), Dr. Dhuni Soren (firstname.lastname@example.org), Mr. Dasharathi Hembrom (email@example.com).
for the Project: We are always looking for volunteers to carry out these projects successfully. As already mentioned,
there are plenty of works to be done, and if you are interested to contribute, please contact us. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org