Ek Step Foundation
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Bangla translation software: Indo- Bangladesh partnership
“Ekushey” this year has been special for Bangladesh and India. On Thursday, Bangladesh Supreme Court inaugurated an “Amar Vasha” software to translate court orders and judgments from English into Bangla. The software, developed by Ek Step Foundation of India, is being used by India’s Supreme Court and 18 high courts to translate judgments into Indic languages.
Ekushey’ is celebrated on February 21 as international mother language day, in commemoration of the day in 1952 when students of Dhaka University started a nationwide protest against the imposition of Urdu on the then East Pakistan. It is a defining moment for the liberation struggle for Bangladesh. Speaking to TOI, Vikram Doraiswami, Indian high commissioner to Dhaka said,“The development of this specially-customised translation software is a recognition of the unique strengths of our partnership: only India and Bangladesh could have worked together on such a Bangla translation software since Bangla is equally our shared heritage.”
It was in 2019 that President RamNath Kovind asked the Indian Supreme Court to translate their orders into Indian languages since most Indians don’t know English enough to understand them. Anuvaad.org, funded by Ek Step Foundation stepped in. They were able to customise the software for the Supreme Court, which now includes 18 high courts translating orders and documents into nine languages. “It takes about 15 seconds to translate one page,” said Vivek Raghavan of Ek Step.
In November 2020, Doraiswami said, Sheikh Hasina had spoken to Narendra Modi about helping Bangladesh on this front. Ek Step was brought in, which developed customised software for Bangladesh.