Education July 9, 2021
Visually impaired children come together to launch creative platform ‘Vidya Drishti’
Five visually impaired children between the ages of 10 and 15 years have launched a platform called Vidya Drishti. Their aim is to offer children a platform to express themselves creatively. This is an open platform, and they hope to encourage more children to participate.
When a group of five visually impaired children from Bengaluru and Chennai signed up for online creative writing classes during the lockdown, little did they imagine where it would take them.
They have launched an online platform called Vidya Drishti, which wants to give children an avenue to express themselves creatively. The platform is open to everyone. The founders, all of whom are between 10 to 15 years of age, like to call Vidya Drishti a ‘happy accident’.
“During Covid, we were being taught creative writing online”, says Ashwin, who is 11 years old and t based in Chennai. “We were wondering what to choose as Book of the Month and thought that instead of posting this question on the WhatsApp group which is limited to a few people, why not create a platform. That’s how this evolved into a community”.
Nurturing creativity in visually impaired kids
Mentoring the children is L Subramani, a visually impaired journalist with the Deccan Chronicle. Subramani is also associated with the Vividha Trust, which works to empower people with disabilities. “V Shantala, who is the trustee of Vividha, and I were talking about ways to help the next generation express themselves creatively and that’s how the online classes started”, he explains.
We have seen three generations of disabled people. For those in the 60s and 70s, it was about access to education, the struggle to get to a school. In the 80s and 90s, books and education became easier and the struggle was to access jobs and technology. This generation of disabled people has access to everything. What they need is exposure. It’s time that disability finds a voice and technology offers that. – Subramani L, Journalist, Deccan Chronicle
The target audience of Vidya Drishti is children between eight to 16 years of age. The aim is to get more of them to contribute and encourage them to find their voice through technology.
Visually impaired children connect to a larger community
The website will have sections offering users access to varied content. There’s one called ‘articles’ which is made up of written work. “Here people can read each other’s pieces and write their own”, explains Pranav Savla, one of the founders. “This is also open to feedback. There are plans to add a section on events so people can share their experiences. This will open them to the world and help connect with other writers and understand how people write”.
Backing this project in a big way are the parents of the five children. “I love to talk about books”, says Nirav who is 10 years old and the youngest founder. “I especially like to read Harry Potter and epics like Ramayana and Mahabharata”. Kavya, who is 11, also loves fantasy and adventure. “I rate Lord of the Rings and Harry Potter among my favourites”.
Technology will play a big part in Vidya Drishti, adds Pranav. “By 2030 80% people will not go to offices and AI will replace that. We are embracing that by combining these writing exercises via a versatile tech platform”. There are plans to launch a mobile app as well with easy-to-use interfaces.
Support us to make NewzHook Sustainable – Make a Contribution Today
We need your continued support to enable us work towards Changing Attitudes towards Disability. Help us in our attempt to share the voices of people with disabilities that enable them to participate in the society on an equal footing!