Him Prasad Gautam, The inventor and developer of Nepali text to speech, dristivachak, Netravani, Nepali Unicode, Vernamala including other south-Asian Text to speeches in different 16 languages, passed away on Tuesday morning at Annapurna neuro hospital in Kathmandu. Mr. Gautam was only one Nepali developer of Non-Visual Desktop Application, (NVDA).
Serving as an Environment engineer at the Department of Drinking Water for more than two decades, Mr. Gautam started developing the various TTS-related softwares after he lost his eyesight 12 years ago. He has developed Text to speech in Bengali, Urdu, Sinhala and other 16 south Asian languages.
Mr. Gautam, belonging to middle class family, migrated from remote village of Dhankuta District to Kathmandu, was a brightest icon and the light of hopes for not only for the Nepali blind and Visually-impaired individuals, but also for the South Asian individuals with visual impairments. Hence his passing is indeed a great loss for the nation and visually impaired individuals in Nepal and the world.
Mr. Gautam was suffering from the Brain Cancer since April, 2016 and had undergone series of treatments and surgery at Annapurna Neuro Hospital Maitighar Kathmandu with the efforts of doctors and well-wishers to save his life. Action on Disability Rights and Development has initiated a campaign to support him with financial contribution, in which Nepal Association of the Blind, Bright Star Society and other organizations had joined their hands.
Despite the efforts, support and prayers, he left this physical world leaving his contribution for thousands of blind and visually-impaired. His groundbreaking contribution in making Nepali blind and visually-impaired independent to read and write Nepali script on computer has far-reaching impacts which has transformed their lives and enabled them to work with Nepali fonts. He will be always remembered and respected as an unsetting star in our hearts. May his departed soul rest in eternal peace.