Visually-challenged children will now be able to read classics of famous writers like Rabindranath Tagore along with folk tales as some of these are now being converted into Braille format.
Chennai-based Third Eye Charitable Trust plans to transcribe literary works, including those of Tagore, into Braille by tying up with publishing houses like Scholastic India, Penguin and Tulika Publishers.
Third Eye recently partnered with the National institute for the Visually Handicapped and the National Association for the Blind to release the works of Rabindranath Tagore in Braille. The initiative is to bring out books that encourage the visually challenged to read and include a reading habit in their life.
Under the initiative, the NGO plans to publish 400 stories of Tagore, R K Narayan besides folk tales for visually challenged children. Most of the books would be in vernacular languages like Tamil, Bengali, Hindi so as to avoid an elite class bias against children who do not understand English.
Devised in 1825 by Louis Braille, a visually challenged Frenchman, the Braille system is a tactile method of writing widely used by such people to read and write.
Employing groups of embossed dots to represent printed letters and numbers, the format allows people to read any language by feeling the dots through their fingers.
There are about 284 million visually impaired people worldwide, out of which 39 million are blind and 245 million have low vision. About 90% of the world's visually impaired live in developing countries. It is believed that one third of world’s blind people live in India. For such a large population getting to read quality literature is indeed a good news and the people behind the initiative deserve support and encouragement.