Tejas Shukla, a 10th standard student at Kendriya Vidyalaya in Silchar, Assam, was searching for his favourite television network when he came upon a Doordarshan news show for the hearing-impaired.
For the deaf hearing challenged, a woman was utilising sign language to relay news events.
Tejas was unable to decipher the sign language. "That's when I realised how tough communication with the wider population may be for hearing-impaired persons." "I began to consider what I might do with the assistance of new tech to overcome the communication divide," Tejas explained.
Thankfully, he learned about the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology's Responsible AI For Youth initiative, which provided a forum for school kids to become technologically equipped for the long term.
Tejas put up his suggestion, which was promptly approved. His suggestion was chosen from among hundreds of others submitted by children around the nation.
"The entire process took over a year, during which time I received training and coaching in order to construct the software platform." Finally, I was chosen as a winner among 19 other students who had creative ideas in various sectors," Tejas explained.
There are 430 million individuals worldwide who have a hearing impairment, and around 900,000 people who are profoundly deaf. There is no other means for speaking and hearing-impaired persons to interact except sign language, which is still relatively unknown among some of the general population.
So, how would his software benefit persons who are deaf or hard of hearing?
"You must turn on the camera and focus it on someone who is speaking in sign language." "Based on the options you choose, the app will interpret it and transform it to audio or text," Tejas told OI.
"In the same way, if a person wishes to communicate on sign language, he or she can say or write something in the app." Information will use a virtual robot to turn it into sign language for a deaf individual."
Tejas explained that he engaged in this project in addition to his academics and that his father, an Assistant Professor in the Department of Physics at Assam University, was indeed a great encouragement at home. He also expressed gratitude to his school's professors and supervisors for their help.
"At this time, the application can only use the English language because it is still being constructed. However, I can also acquaint you with other languages. "I'm working on it, and I'm hoping that this application will be a game-changer for those who are deaf," Tejas added.