The United States-based Ambedkar International Center (AIC) has launched a platform that allows users to access all volumes of Dr B R Ambedkar’s published writings and speeches and also search for specific keywords.
Since 1979, the Maharashtra government has published thousands of pages of collected volumes of Ambedkar’s writings and speeches. The Ministry of External Affairs website hosts all volumes of Ambedkar’s works in English and Hindi in the pdf format. However, volumes in many languages are poorly scanned pdf copies without the optical character recognition functionality.
“We wanted to make authentic BAWS (Babasaheb Ambedkar Writings and Speeches) content searchable and shareable across volumes, just like Google search, without the need to download or open any of the BAWS volumes,” AIC board member Takshak Chahande told The Satyashodhak.
The AIC’s platform allows text to be copy-pasted; has text-to-speech (read aloud) feature; ability to share link to specific pages of the BAWS; and it maintains page consistency with hardcopy volumes of the BAWS for easy reference for scholars.
The project has been in development for more than a year, and engineers in India and the US have been toiling on weekends and holidays to bring it to fruition. The project website — https://baws.in — also has Ambedkar’s writings in Hindi translation and the team plans to introduce more languages, such as Tamil, Kannada, Bengali, and Gujarati, on the platform.
Chahande hopes that people who care about Ambedkar’s legacy will come forward to help the organisation in the project. He also said they were looking for good pdf copies of the BAWS in Marathi.
The AIC is a non-profit organisation which was established in June 2012 with the goal of strengthening the unity among the SC/ST/OBCs; to enable campaign and advocacy efforts; and to create a strong support base to eradicate untouchability from India, among other things. The organisation established the School of Ambedkar Thoughts (SAT), under which the current project has been executed, at its centre with the aim of propagating Ambedkar’s philosophy and his corpus of writings as well as other literature produced by the marginalised.