August 20, 2017: Now the visually challenged people in the country could read and hear in Nepali language, thanks to the software developed by two IT experts at the Kathmandu University (KU) for the Nepal Netra Joyti Sangh.
Prof Dr Bal Krishna Bal and Nirajan Panta developed the software named Optical Character Recognition (OCR) for the first time in Nepali language after two years of research.
The technology offers the blind and visually impaired people to scan printed texted and then speak it back in synthetic speech or save it to a computer in aid of the speech synthesis application named Text to Speech (TTS).
The Australian government had provided financial assistance worth Rs 2.4 million for the development of the software that could prove a boon for the 95,000 blind population recorded in the country in the last census, said Sangh's President Nar Bahadur Limbu.
Visually impaired people, despite their visual disabilities, are gradually climbing up the social ladder by taking up offices in government bodies as the state organs ensures reservations in vacancies for the people with disabilities.
There are three such officer-level and 11 non-gazetted second class officers serving in the various government bodies.
The Sangh is also going to organize training for 100 blind people for them to be able to operate the software as it aims to distribute the same software to them in the first phase. Also, every blind person registered in the Sangh will receive a laptop along with the same software.
The plan is estimated to be materialized at the cost Rs 20 million. The Sangh has meanwhile urged the concerned bodies and international donors for financial assistance towards this end.