Tribal students observe bandh, demand Ol Chiki presence on new notes

Baripada: Protesting the absence of Santhali language in the new Rs 500 and Rs 2,000 currency notes, Mayurbhanj Adivasi Students’ Association, a tribal body, observed a 12-hour Baripada bandh today.

As part of the protest, members of the body picketed at various places. Many shops and other business establishments were also closed. The activists demanded imprinting of the denomination in Santhali language (Ol Chiki script) on the new currency bank notes of Rs 500 and Rs 2,000. They said the Santhali language is recognized by the Constitution of India. Hence it should find a place in the new currency notes.

“While 0.24 per cent of the population speak Konkani language and 0.28 per cent Nepali, Kashmiris represent 0.54 per cent of the population. Even after 0.63 per cent of the population speak Santhali, the Ol Chiki script has not found place in the new currency notes,” lamented a member of the body.

Meanwhile, police detained some of the activists including association president Sultal Marandi.