Know about the Jaipur NGO that has released Braille versions of PM Modi’s book
Just ahead of the board exams, Braille versions in Hindi and English of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s boon Exam Warriors has been launched. The Braille versions have been brought out by Jaipur NGO Rajasthan Netraheen Kalyan Sangh. Since 1998, the Braille library of this NGO has been releasing popular children’s books in Braille.
A famous proverb goes – ‘Between the pages of a book is a wonderful place to be’. Since 1998 the Braille Library of Jaipur, started by Rajasthan Netraheen Kalyan Sangh (RNKS) has been bringing this wonder alive for blind people across India.
Be it popular kids’ magazines like Champak and Chandamama or the Harry Potter series, the library ensures that blind people can read by touch. RKNS started the library in partnership with Group Against Blindness in the Netherlands and the Lions Club, Jaipur. The NGO is over 50 years old. When it was started in 1968, Braille was not in use.
Popular children’s books brought out in Braille
“It all started quite as a matter of chance”, says J.N Bhargav, Secretary, RNKS, a retired government school teacher.
There was a man who used to make plastic chairs who was blind and uneducated. Seeing his condition, some people suggested that we come together and form an association. – J.N Bhargav, Secretary, Rajasthan Netraheen Kalyan Sangh
The library has over 3,000 books in Hindi, English and Sanskrit, and 1,500 cassettes on a wide range of subjects like poetry, health and geography. They are sent here by the All India Confederation for the Blind. Within Jaipur the books are delivered to the doorstep. “We do this because most blind people don’t have someone to bring them here. So the books are delivered through autos”, says Bhargav. “We have made a catalogue so readers can easily find the books they want to read.”
Braille books sent to different states & abroad
The library has members in Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat and Odisha, and even Sri Lanka. Delivery is free as there are no postage charges levied on Braille material.
Sachetan Ram Chowdhry, a retired school teacher, has been a member here for over 10 years. “It is very convenient as the books are sent to my home. I have always liked reading and now after retirement I have a lot of time and enjoy reading a lot”.
Apart from the library, the RKNS brings out the country’s first Braille newspaper in Hindi called Braille Samacharpatra, and publishes textbooks for blind schools in Rajasthan.
RKNS also runs a blind school where the teaching is in Braille. “The homework is done in Braille and children get to feel informed, inspired and entertained through the medium of Braille”, says Bhargav, who is looking forward to distributing the Braille versions of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s book Exam Warriors among blind schools.
“We are a small team of four people here and all of us worked on the book”, he says. “A fifth person was brought on board to describe the images for the English version”. The launch of Exam Warriors just a few months ahead of the board exams, he says, will be of great use to blind students. “PM Modi has given many useful words of advice on the attitude one should have towards exams. He has said students should celebrate them like festivals and act like a warrior, nor worrier”. The specific details of the yoga asanas mentioned to deal with exam related stress is also useful, he says. “I look forward to distributing the Braille versions once they are sent to us”.