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PM receives Braille version of 19th Century Assamese dictionary, Hemkosh

Prime Minister Narendra Modi received the copy of the Braille version of 19th Century Assamese dictionary Hemkosh (Pic. Courtesy Twitter/@narendramodi)

It was significant day for the visually-impaired as well as Assamese language as Prime Minister Narendra Modi received the Braille version of Assamese dictionary Hemkosh. This important lexicon which is South east Asia’s first Braille dictionary was presented to PM by the Chairman of the Pratidin Media Network Jayanta Baruah yesterday.

Hemkosh is the first Assamese dictionary which was edited by Hemchandra Baruah in the 19th Century and it was published in 1900 four years after his demise. From then on, his family has been publishing the dictionary and the editions four to 14th were compiled and edited by Jayanta’s father Pran Debananda Baruah, son of Hemchandra. Taking forward the legacy Jayanta conceptualised and published the Braille edition which has 10,000 pages and consists of more than 15 volumes.

The Braille edition’s first five volumes are ready for distribution while the remaining parts are being published.

This dictionary will be first full language dictionary in Braille, after the Oxford version.

Jayanta has announced that copies of this Braille version will be provided to all the educational institutions for the visually impaired students, universities, State and Central libraries and the National Library.

The dictionary was formally released on September 16 by Governor of Assam, Professor Jagdish Mukhi who handed over the first five volumes to the Principal of Government Blind School in Basistha.