Wednesday, April 25, 2018

Avro's innovator deserves Ekushey Padak

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This article portrays a slim young boy wearing spectacles with square frames. His head is full of hair but there are doubts whether he ever combs it. He is walking ahead vibrantly with eyes filled with visions. His laughter without fears rocks the ambience of the entire campus where he studies.

It is Mehedi in simplified terms-Mehedi Hasan Khan. When I first got introduced to Mehedi he was around 17 or 18 years old. He used to visit medicine club frequently.

His participation in all activities of the club was brisk and resonant. But suddenly this vivacious young boy became much quiet not speaking spontaneously to anyone which does not match his characteristics. At least those who are closely associated with him found it unusual.

In the meantime it came be known that Mehedi has innovated a software with his own technological expertise for writing Bengali. It was not clear to me why another software for writing Bengali is required besides Bijoy. It became vivid to me when I looked a little deeper into the matter. It was the striking fact that Avro enables people to compose Bengali by pressing the buttons on English keyboards.

This is the most remarkable feature of Avro software developed by Mehedi. I was astounded when I asked him how much it would cost. Mehedi dumbfounded me saying, "No price. It's totally free. Why should I take money for language?" Such words from the lips of an 18 years old boy are true reflections of his love for Bengali language. Mehedi's reply was revolutionary which beamed with the resplendence of his youthful vigor. Mehedi's dedication and commitment towards the expansion of Bengali language amazed me.

Mehedi fought a valiant war to expose Bengali language to the entire world keeping himself cloistered away inside his hostel's room. It was not easy to meet Mehedi without going into his hostel room because he spent most of his time over there.

He was not even found in college canteen. His hair was growing longer while a little beard also appeared on his chin. Dark patches became visible below his eyes. Moreover, his academic work with medical science was very tough. His teachers announced he was not fit to study medical science. Some of them even suggested him to leave medical studies.

The exasperating load of medical education squatted on Mehedi's head. On one hand, Mehedi was preoccupied with his new dreams, new ideas while on the other hand, he had to deal with the complicated studies of medical science. Not just these things, Mehedi had to jump over many more hurdles while working for the creation of Avro software to make Bengali writing easier for the country's people.

But all obstacles failed to hold Mehedi back. His creative exhilaration drove him forward all the time. God was on his side too. Mehedi successfully accomplished medical studies as well. Mehedi's perseverance gave to the world the unique freedom of language-the outstanding liberty of writing Bengali freely. That's why Mehedi's watchword says, "Bhasha Hok Unmukto". In English it may be translated as "Let language be free to all."

Avro software has saved crores of taka for the government. Avro is widely used in most of the government offices. National ID cards, passports, government files and many more documents are being composed with the help of Avro software which is Mehedi's brainchild.

A small computer belonging to Mehedi and his small hostel room gave birth to the most scintillating innovation for Bengali language which is today known as Avro. Avro is not just a software, it's the name of a dream which came true by virtue of Mehedi's talent.

Some guys snatch away other people's achievements and try to exert themselves in the limelight of false eminence. On the other hand, there are some extraordinary people who remain silent despite great breakthroughs and innovations.

Some people run monopoly business by undermining the rights of others while some rare people like Mehedi keep on working for everyone's betterment with no greed for fame or honor. Today millions of Bengali people are using Avro for typing Bengali at home and outside but how many of them know about its inventor Mehedi?

Mehedi should be recognized for the superb job he has done for the enhancement of Bengali language and the government should come up right now to acknowledge his contributions for the lingual arena of Bangladesh.

Avro software has given all of us the independence to write in Bengali. Avro's innovator Mehedi deserves an Ekushey Padak for the mammoth roles he has played for promoting and popularizing Bengali typing.

The writer is a physician

----Dr. Manik Chandra Das

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