Coronavirus: These IIT Kharagpur students translated WHO advisory in 12 regional languages

Vision Prabaho, a 20-member students’ group at IIT Kharagpur, has uploaded videos on the WHO guidelines in regional languages of India

26th Mar 2020
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The COVID-19 pandemic is raising alarm all over the world as it has claimed over 21,000 lives, with over 479,000 positive cases, globally, according to Worldometer. The governments of most countries are taking proactive measures to contain the spread of the infection, and many of them are in lockdown. India, as of today, has seen about 693 positive cases and 13 deaths.


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Healthcare organisations across the world are working together to develop a vaccine. The World Health Organisation (WHO) has also launched an advisory video campaign, conveying the basics of COVID-19 prevention – hygienic practices, social distancing, common symptoms – in the English language. In India, this video might not have reached a large audience due to language barriers posed by the linguistic diversity of the country.


To make it reach the masses in India, a group of students of IIT Kharagpur have translated the video in 12 different languages to help people get a better understanding of the WHO’s message.


This 20-member students’ group, Vision Prabaho, popular for its environmental activities across the campus, has uploaded videos on the World Health Organisation (WHO) guidelines in Assamese, Bengali, Gujarati, Hindi, Kannada, Kashmiri, Malayalam, Marathi, Odia, Punjabi, Tamil and Telugu.


"Regional languages will make the advisory reach even the remotest part of the country and avoid misinformation," Biswaroop Mondal, a member of the group said, according to Deccan Herald.


The video was initially uploaded in Bengali. However, the other students insisted on making other translations as well. Within three days, the video was uploaded in 12 regional languages.


"We are now trying to make videos in Maithili, Santhali, Nagamese and Kokborok," another member of the group said, according to Edex Live.


On March 24, Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced a complete lockdown across the nation to curb the rising number of coronavirus cases. All transportation, both domestic and international, has come to a halt in hopes that it will contain the infection.



(Edited by Kanishk Singh)



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