From a personal tool, chhotugoogle has entered the public domain
CHENNAI: Are you more comfortable with Hindi or Tamil than with English? Are you looking for a search engine that is not English-oriented?
Though it serves the needs of the poetically-inclined very well, Chhotugoogle was originally intended, believe it or not, to help the creator’s wife browse official Hindi documents online. The creator Ranvir Prasad, an IAS officer currently posted as District Magistrate, Sant Kabir Nagar in Uttar Pradesh, says as much.
It seems to be an all-family affair with his sister, Rambha Kumari, also pitching in. She provided suggestions and inputs and also bought the domain on which Chhotugoogle now rests. “I put together this website during my free time. The idea was mainly to bring into the open a large number of webpages in Tamil and Hindi that were hidden from the public view, as they are not reflected in conventional searches. There are some sites where you could search in languages like Hindi/Tamil but you cannot search for documents in other fonts like Bamini (Tamil) and Kruti Dev (Hindi). This, to me, seemed a great handicap.”
He continues: “For example in Uttar Pradesh, most of the documents on government sites are in Kruti Dev 010 font and there was no means of searching for any term within those documents. Now anyone can search using chhotugoogle.com, as information for the public, including details under the Right to Information Act and Below the Poverty Line listings, is available in these fonts.”
On Chhotugoogle, you can search for Hindi documents in the Unicode and Kruti Dev fonts; and Tamil documents in the Unicode and Bamini fonts. No, you do not need to know how to type in these fonts, thanks to automatic transliteration, says Mr. Prasad, a B.Tech from IIT Kanpur. He worked for a short while in a software/hardware firm before he joined the services as officer in the Tamil Nadu cadre in 2000.
More work to be done
Currently, the site hosts only a search feature. Much more remains to be done on the site, according to its creator. “An interesting addition will be a directory of good websites in Hindi/Tamil. I am planning to add more languages and fonts based on feedback. I am thinking of putting in a typepad with spell check and dictionary support,” Mr. Prasad says.