Inspired by a great mother, the Mother of Pondicherry

 The overwhelming majority of the blind millions of India have no access to literacy, education or skills training in formal or informal institutions or organisations. This should trouble the conscience of every thinking Indian.

    None of the existing conventional solutions have been able to reach them, because these solutions are severely constrained by their organization, methods and costs. We need a completely new and revolutionary method that is free from such constraints.

    The STBS Project proposed here rests on such an approach. It is revolutionary in that it rests largely on the efforts of the blind to help themselves., with a methodology that is astonishingly simple,  inexpensive and capable of extensive and rapid implementation and replication. It is unique in that it rests on the use of a speech enabled  cost-free IT solution  specially designed to enable the blind to use computers in their mother tongue with little effort.

        1. The basic  steps are :
(a) to select a blind person who is literate, and possibly, though not necessarily, educated;
(b) give him / her a Personal Computer and train him / her in using it the mother tongue;
(c) require him/her to use the PC to :

      (i) run a single teacher blind school at his house or any available common location, to train other blind persons in the local area on a low or no-fee basis; and
      (ii) undertake job works like data entry, typing letters, petitions, reports, or other documents etc to  bring him a small income to support himself/herself.

 It will be helpful if he/she has the help or association of a spouse, other relation or friend, even from the stage of initial training.  In due course, as his/her skills expand, and with such additional help, he/she can handle all the above functions efficiently, and also take on many other social services and functions, like  promoting literacy, dissemination of information, running telephone or email services etc.
        2. Set up a common Training-cum-Support Centre which will :
(a) provide the equipment and initial training for each teacher (including a helper), free of cost;
(b) establish a network of STB Schools to extend the activity to reach as many villages as possible; and
(c) coordinate their activities and provide equipment maintenance and training support, and  infrastructural help.

 HARDWARE : The minimal requirement will be as follows :
CPU : Intel 486 of 33 MHz speedRAM : 16 MB ;  MONITOR : 14 " Monochrome ;  KEYBOARD : Standard AT - 101   SOUND CARD and SPEAKERS 80-Column Dot Matrix Printer; UPS : 500 VA
  NOTE : The above configurations may be considered by the fastidious to be obsolete but are quite  clearly adequate for the intended purposes. Such machines or even more powerful ones  should be extensively available at no cost or at throw away prices  from institutions and organisations which are constantly upgrading their existing computer systems.

        S0FTWARE :
(a) Operating System : Windows 95
(b) Application Software : The Multi-lingual Software Package from the IIT Chennai which  has the following  features which are specially valuable for blind users :
        (i) Common English Keyboard adapted for use on a phonetic basis for input in any Indian language as also English;
        (ii) It is speech enabled and speeks each letter, word or sentence in the entry;  language, as and when entered, enabling use by the blind in their mother tongue;
        (iii) It is extremely simple to use and persons who are blind and have no education or knowledge of computers can be trained in its use through our standard 4 day programme;
        (iv) it produces scrren output and ink print output for use by sighted persons and  embossed braille output for the use of the blind, all in the user's mother tongue;
 (v) utilities are provided to enable use for email and creation of Internet  presentations in Indian  languages;   and
        (vi) this is a product of high technical and linguistic  sophistication and is the  only product of its kind in India or any where else. It is specifically designed by  the IIT Chennai as a national solution  for the needs of the country and is  therefore offered free of cost.

   Any Governmental or Non-Governmental Institution or Industrial or Commercial Organisation or Individual can sponsor or support a single school or a network of schools of this type This would be an ideal project for sponsorship by large rural Eye Hospitals, as a social service extension to their medical services. Patients who have benefited by their services would make a ready source of support for the establishment of schools of this type in their villages.

  Vidya Vrikshah would be glad to provide all advice and support, including initial training of Trainers along with copies of the Multilingual Software Package , free of cost.

For advice or help kindly contact
N.Krishnaswamy, Managing Trustee, Vidya Vrikshah or
Mrs. Alamelu Ramakrishnan, Coordinator, Vidya Vrikshah
as below :
Post : Vidya Vrikshah, 3, Tiruveedi Amman St., R.K.Nagar, Chennai - 600 028
Tele : Chennai : 4937926, 4414741
email :,