Technology January 25, 2020
WhatsApp groups ‘Dhyuthi’ use technology to the fullest to empower blind people
WhatsApp groups ‘Dhyuthi’ and ‘Dhyuthi Reading Group’ was formed in 2016 by the youth wing of the Federation of Blind (FOB) in Kerala. Their volunteers, who are sighted, reads out daily news and literature which are sent across to their WhatsApp groups as voice recordings for visually impaired members. This support group that aims to empower the visually impaired community in the state is grabbing a lot of attention.
‘Dhyuthi’ in Malayalam means light. That is just what this WhatsApp group aims to provide the visually impaired community in Kerala. Volunteers of Dhyuthi, who are not visually impaired, reads out daily news, literature and novels which are sent across to the two Dhyuthi WhatsApp groups as voice recordings. Their groups ‘Dhyuthi’ and ‘Dhyuthi Reading Group’ is a great platform for visually impaired people to get a better insight about things happening around them. ‘
Beginnings of ‘Dhyuthi’
The group was first formed informally in the year 2016. A group of people from the youth wing of the Federation of Blind (FOB) in Kerala decided to make use of technology. Their main aim was to support reading amongst vosually impaired people and promote scribes. People from different parts of the state including teachers, television anchors and housewives contacted them. That is how ‘Dhyuthi’ was formed.
Anil Kumar B, who is visually impaired, is one of the admins of the WhatsApp groups.
Our volunteers read out different kinds of books, literature and articles. We have a separate group where all the daily news articles from different newspapers are also read out. So by 8 am every day, our members have all the news updates. We also have a Google Back Up drive where all the recordings are stored for later use. – Anil Kumar B, President, Federation of Blind
Today, the team has over 6000 members in Kerala. The list is only getting bigger and better.
A group to empower visually impaired people
‘Dhyuthi’ has members from all sections of the society. “Many people are stepping forward to help us. We even have doctors who wants to offer our members medical support. We have volunteers and members from across the world”, says Anil.
‘Dhyuthi’ group which is focused on news has over 400 members. Their reading group has more than 250 members. “Over the years, we have been getting great responses. That is the main reason why we are active. We want to reach out to the visually impaired community to provide them with more employment opportunities. That is going to be Dhyuthi’s upcoming venture”, says Anil.
Husna Ameen, a visually impaired computer trainer, has been part of ‘Dhyuthi’ for the past many years. “They mostly cover literature and news. This is one of the very few inclusive groups where even people who are not visually impaired are part of it. This helps in creating a great rapport between both the communities. Most of the times, a person who is not visually impaired is disinterested or not concerned about what a visually impaired person needs. People have very less awareness”, says Husna.
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