Sarjom baha, a phonetic input method

Sarjom baha, a phonetic input method. Subhashish Panigrahi for Centre for Internet and Society. CC-BY-SA 4.0

This is an ever-growing list of existing resources that many native speakers of the Santali language and Ol chiki alphabet would need—including input tools and mobile apps, character encoding converters, Santali Wikipedia, Ol chiki fonts among others.

Santali is one of the indigenous languages  that is spoken by roughly about 7.6 million people (including 6.9 million native speakers in India. Census 2011) that live mostly the eastern/northeastern states of India ( Assam, Bihar, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Mizoram, Odisha, Tripura and West Bengal) and the Santali diaspora living in Nepal, Bangladesh and elsewhere. The official writing system for Santali is Ol chiki/Ol cemet’ (Unicode range: 1C50–1C7F; see progress of recent changes), a non-abugida script that was developed by Pandit Raghunath Murmu in 1925. Santali is one of the very few languages that are a part of the 8th Schedule of the Indian Constitution (see provincial distribution). Despite of inclusion of the language in the elementary education system in Indian states including Jharkhand, Odisha and West Bengal, the written and online use of the language have a long way to go. But there are some really dedicated individuals who are constantly striving to put their language on the world map.

We started this page to celebrate the Santali Wikipedia finally went live at in August 2018. Many congratulations all Santali Wikipedians whose tiresless effort made this possible. Some of us at O Foundation were involved (in our capacity as Wikimedians and professionally in previous jobs, all beyond O Foundation) in the past particularly with building the input tools, font, and organizing outreach, and it is a very emotional moment for us to celebrate. So, we thought of celebrating this success with a small list (but growing) list of resources that would be useful for the Santali readers online, and hopefully will help them contribute to Santali Wikipedia.


Option to choose Ol chiki in GBoard as seen in a phone where Odia is chosen as default language. Image by Anwesh Pati (CC-BY 4.0)

Option to choose Ol chiki in GBoard. Anwesh Pati (CC-BY 4.0)


Santali resources online:

This is a work in progress and we will keep adding more resources over time. If you know about some useful resources, please let us know here, and we will be happy to add them.

Inputs from Ramjit Tudu and Anwesh Pati.

About the author(s)

Subhashish P. is one of the founding members of O Foundation and founder OpenSpeaks which won him the MJ Bear Fellowship and a grant from National Geographic to digitally-document threatened languages.

A documentary filmmaker, Open Culture Advocate, and community catalyst over a decade of experience leading community building, outreach and partnership across Asia Pacific at Internet Society, Mozilla, Centre for Internet and Society, and Wikimedia Foundation.