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Santhali to be taught in primary schools of Jharkhand: Raghubar

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Jamshedpur, May 10: Chief Minister Raghubar Das on Wednesday wooed tribals by promising better road connectivity in tribal belt of Singhbhum and also beautification of tribal worship places.

He was addressing a gathering after unveiling a statue of Pandit Raghunath Murmu on his 112th birth anniversary at Kosapuliya village in Baharagora block of East Singhbhum district.

Das, who also inaugurated an office of All India Sarna Dharam announced that the Government has started making efforts to bring development vehicle back to the track and steps are being taken to ensure holistic development of the State. The focus will be on developing quality road network.

“We have resolved to not only renovate, repair and beautify tribal worship places like Jahersthan and Sarna Sthals but also connect tribal belts with better roads. The Government has chalk out an ambitious plan for spreading roads across Jharkhand,” said the CM.

Paying his tributes to the legendary inventor of the Ol Chiki script for Santhali language Pandit Raghunath Murmu, said that he was a great thinker, philosopher, writer, and playwright. Das said that the Government is making efforts to ensure that Ol Chiki script for Santhali language is taught in the primary schools. He also promised that the Government will take steps to provide job opportunities for tribal youths.

On the occasion, Jamshedpur MP Vidyut BaranMahto, Ghatshila MLA LaxmanTudu and DC Amit Kumar were present.
Pandit Raghunath Murmu was born in Dandbose (Dahardih) village, Mayurbhanj district of Orissa. After a brief stint in technical profession, he took up the job of teaching in Badomtolia high school.

During this time, he was drawn into Santhali literature. Santhali is a language with its own special characteristics, and has a literature which dates back to the beginning of the 15th century.

He felt that Santhals with their rich cultural heritage and tradition also need a separate script to preserve and promote their language, and therefore, he took up the work of inventing Ol Chiki script for writing Santhali. The Ol Chiki was unveiled in 1925.

He wrote over 150 books covering novels, drama, poetry, and stories in Santhali using Ol Chiki as a part of his extensive promotion to empower the Santhal community culturally. “Darege Dhan”, “Sidhu-Kanhu”, and “Kherwal Bir” are among the most acclaimed of his works apart from “Bidu Chandan”.

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