This is a proposal for establishing a Unit for the production and circulation of Drushti, a Braille Magazine in the Indian languages in any Vikas Training Centre of any Organisation which is willing and able to undertake this.
The typical Vikas Training Centre has as its basic resource, a computer system with the Multi-lingual Software Package from the IIT Chennai, that enables computer usage in Indian languages by even visually impaired persons. Such persons trained in such a Centre can then be gainfully employed in the Unit proposed in this paper.
The proposal is intended to utilise such trained persons, to compose electronic versions of school text book lessons and magazine articles in the local languages on the computer system and use the same software package to produce braille versions, and use free postage facilities to circulate them to blind students and blind training institutions in the country. It will be possible to obtain permission from publishers of text books and magazines in local languages to reproduce braille versions.
This will require a heavy duty Braille Embosser for the Training Centre which can be attached to the Centre’s computer system. The cost implications are as follows :
(a) Non-recurring : Rs 3 lakhs towards the
cost of a Braille Embosser; and
(b) Recurring :
(i) Rs 300 per month as a stipend to each of 6 blind student
volunteers who can be trained to handle all the operational tasks of the Unit.
(ii) Rs 1000 per month towards electricity / other operational costs.
(iii) It is envisaged that used Xerox paper (that will be available in plenty and free of cost from office
establishments). Techniques will be used to adapt such paper on the Braille Embosser which would
otherwise require specially thick paper.
Any sponsor or donor agency may place the necessary resources at the disposal of Vidya Vrikshah which will set up and guide the operation of the Unit in the selected Vikas Training Centre. On the basis of experiences of this Unit in the first centre, it can be replicated in additional centres with versions in all Indian languages which are supported by the Software Package.
Typically, each issue of the magazine will carry two school lessons and two popular stories, forming a series that could be bound in due course into text-books or novels respectively. The magazine would have around 50 pages and be issued monthly in the first instance.