Devanagari to Bharati Braille Converter

Amar Jyoti

Last year, the Delhi Typerventions group put up a Devanagari-Bharati Braille installation at Amar Jyoti School, an institute for the visually-impaired, in Delhi. I, of course, was in faraway Cupertino then, but it didn’t stop me from making a small contribution—designing the Devanagari lettering and composing it with the Braille.

Screen Shot 2013-05-01 at 9.14.04 PM

The most challenging part of this project turned out to be figuring out how to accurately convert the Devanagari poem that had been selected for the installation to Bharati Braille. Tried as I did, it was impossible to find any comprehensive resources online or a converter that would let the lay person convert short texts (most converters I did find were proprietary and prohibitively expensive). I shared my woes with Nirbheek, who helped me a great deal in doing this conversion. Pretty soon, we were discussing the idea of making our very own Bharati Braille converter. A few months of work, a lot of research and many hiccups later, we are finally ready to release the first version.

Introducing Devanagari to Bharati Braille Converter!

The converter is fairly basic at this stage—it can only convert text, and not mathematical content, for instance. We hope to make it more comprehensive with time, and also add support for more Indian scripts. What’s more, it is free and open source. Please do give it a try and spread the word to those who you think can benefit from a tool like this!

Comments 6

  1. viraj deo (@virajdeo) May 3, 2013

    Hi Pooja,

    Congratulations to you and Nirbheek on the project. Tried the converter and love it!
    An interesting initiative and very well thought-out too! Really appreciate the concern and
    efforts behind the project. Precise conversion of Devanagari letters to Bharati Braille is
    a difficult conundrum to deal with.

    Incidentally, I had done a research project on Bharati Braille some time back as a part of
    my MA studies. It wasn’t solution-led project nor a comprehensive one; just an inquiry into
    possibilities. But I plan to instigate further into it and if possible develop and test prototypes.

    An online copy of the project report is here:
    Would love to know your thoughts and suggestions.


  2. Kakarla Nageswaraiah May 3, 2013

    Nice if it works. I pasted the following text in the text area but it didn’t convert it to Braille. How can I be sure of its conversion to Braille? The text is as under:
    अपना-अपना दर्शन
यह तो सच है हम दोनों का
अलग-अलग जीवन-दर्शन है;
फिर भी साथ-साथ रहना है,
यद्यपि अलग-अलग चिन्तन है।

    तुम जिसको उड़ान कहते हो,
    मैं कहता हौं – वह भटकन है,
मैं जिसको मर्यादा कहता
    तुम कहते हो – वह बन्धन है।
वैचारिक भूतल पर कैसी हम दोनों की यह अनबन है?
फिर भी साथ-साथ रहना है,
यद्यपि अलग-अलग चिन्तन है।

    जिसको तुम स्पर्धा कहते हो
मुझको मार-काट लगती है,
जिसको मैं अनुशासन कहता
तुमको निरी डाँट लगती है।
    मैं मन में सुख खोज रहा हूं,
तेरे सुख का कारणधन है
फिर भी साथ-साथ रहना है,
    यद्यपि अलग-अलग चिन्तन है।

    मेरे अर्चन-वन्दन तुमको पाखण्डी के स्वर लगते हैं,
जिसको तुम उत्सव कहते हो
मुझको आडम्बर लगते हैं।
तुम पाखण्ड धर्म को कहते
    मेरा तो जीवन-दर्शन है;
फिर भी साथ-साथ रहना है,
    यद्यपि अलग-अलग चिन्तन है।

    कितना ही अन्तर हो हम में
 कुछ तो हम में समता भी है,
तुमको भी तो मुठ जैसे ही
    पीड़ा है, करुणा ममता है।
तेरी पीड़ा से भी मेरा
घायल होता अन्तर्मन है;
फिर भी साथ-साथ रहना है,
यद्यपि अलग-अलग चिन्तन है।

    तुम भी अपनी बात कहोगे, मैं भी अपनी बात कहूंगा;
    यदि तुम मेरा पक्ष सुनोगे,
    मैं भी आलोचना सहूंगा।
लाठी से बातें मनवाना यह पशुओं का अनुशासन है;
फिर भी साथ-साथ रहना है,
यद्यपि अलग-अलग चिन्तन है।


    • Pooja May 3, 2013

      Hi! Are you sure you pressed “Submit” after entering the text? I just went and tested this myself and the text got converted to Braille. Let me know if it worked for you this time. Thanks for trying the converter out!

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