Mangalore: The Karnataka Tulu Sahitya Academy on Monday released the Unicode version of Tulu script, bringing the language spoken by at least 35 lakh people of coastal districts of Udupi, Dakshina Kannada and Kasargod on the world language platform.
The academy termed it a major milestone towards getting the language included in the Eighth Schedule of the constitution.
At present, the majority of the Tulu works are written in Kannada as the Tulu script is not being taught nor used by common people.
K.P. Rao, who worked with M.J Thomas of Manipal prearing the software for Tulu script, said that the base framework for Tulu and Malayalam scripts were almost similar.
Preparing a Unicode software was important, as different people came out with Tulu works in different scripts. Hence, the academy constituted a committee headed by Dr. Radhakrishna and comprising Venkataraja Punanchittaya and S.A. Krishnaiah.
Dr. Radhakrishna said while other languages including Kannada and Malayalam passed through different state, Tulu had no intermediary stage; it straightway reached the Unicode stage from finalization of the script. With the digitization of the script, the language is now recognized by its own script in the world platform, as a free source for everyone. However, it may not help all the Tulu speakers and writers, as many are more familiar with Kannada script, he added.
Editor of Tulu dictionary U.P Upadhyaya released a CD of Tulu in Unicode. Academy chairperson Janaki Brahmavar shared the dais.