New Delhi The best way of taking technology to the masses is to make it comprehensive by making it compatible to regional languages.
Developed with Israeli help by government run CDAC, Lekhika 2007 supports ten Indian scripts and 3000 characters. It works on Windows, MAC and Linux. It types documents, excel sheets and chat messages with equal ease and will even be able to translate data from one language to the other.
It is rather challenging to have different languages on the keyboard. Indian languages have thrice the number of characters than English does and it is rather hard to squeeze them all in one keyboard.
Ever seen a keyboard in Hindi or Malayalam? After a short training, a Lekhika can let you type in the language of your choice.
With language letters clearly visible on your screen and an intuitive software that predicts your next alphabet or matra, it is fairly simple way of using computers. “So much so that the web cam lets you see your hands on the screen,” says Rafi palgi, Manager, FTK technologies ltd.
Hindi medium school kids who find computer classes tough because of the English letters on the keyboard will have no more reasons to complain. E-Governance clerks who type in regional languages could double their speed. About 900 million Indians don't read or write English, but with Lekikha, at least they won't have a reason to not know computers.
Once the typing becomes easy, the rest will soon fall in place. Already sites like www.raftaar.com let Hindi users trawl the web for Hindi content. Google offers search in thirteen Indian languages including Assamese, Malayalam and Hindi. And America Online now has Tamil and Hindi avatars.
Lekhika will hit the market at a price of Rs 2500 to 3000 in about 14 Indian languages by next year.