Prime Minister Narendra Modi lauded the efforts of the Chairman of the Pratidin Media Network of Assam, Jayanta Baruah and his team for the publication of South-East Asia's first Braille dictionary, ‘Hemkosh’.
Taking to twitter, PM Modi complimented Jayanta Baruah and wrote, “Glad to have received a copy of the Braille version of ‘Hemkosh’, which was among the earliest Assamese dictionaries dating back to the 19th century. I compliment Mr. Jayanta Baruah and his team for his efforts leading to the publication of the Braille version.”
Earlier today, Jayanta Baruah formally presented South-East Asia's first Braille dictionary, ‘Hemkosh’ to PM Modi in New Delhi.
Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma and Union Minister Sarbananda Sonowal were also present at the occasion.
‘Hemkosh’ is South-East Asia's first Braille dictionary in Assamese. It was also the first Assamese dictionary, edited by Hemchandra Baruah in the 19th century. After more than 125 years, Braille version of ‘Hemkosh’ has been conceptualized and published by the Editor of Asomiya Pratidin, Shri Jayanta Baruah.
Notably, the Pratidin Media Network of Assam publishes the highest circulated newspaper of the state, Asomiya Pratidin, and a host of weekly and monthly periodicals.
The first Assamese language dictionary, ‘Hemkosh’, was compiled by Late Hemchandra Baruah in the last part of the 19th century, and was published four years later after his demise. The subsequent editions, of the dictionary were published by the next generations of his family, particularly from fourth edition to 14th edition, was compiled and edited by Hemkosh Pran Debananda Baruah, the father of Mr. Jayanta Baruah, who currently owns the media conglomerate of Assam, 'Pratidin Media Network'.
In a bid to continue the ‘Hemkosh’ legacy, Shri Jayanta Baruah as the grandson of Late Hemchandra Baruah, conceptualized, and published the Braille edition of ‘Hemkosh’. This edition of ‘Hemkosh’ comprises of approximately 10,000 pages comprising more than 15 volumes.
The first phase of this edition comprises of chapters on "Swarabarna", published in five volumes, and is ready for distribution. The later phases (Vyanjanbarna) are also under the process of publication. This is an inauguration of the noble journey of publishing the entire Assamese dictionary in Braille.
Notably, this Braille version of Hemkosh would be the first full language dictionary in Braille, after Oxford.