IN­DIAN FO­RUM AWARDED FOR HELP­ING visu­ally-chal­lenged in ac­cess­ing books

The Free Press Journal - - MUMBAI - AKASH SAKARIA

The on­line li­brary de­vel­oped by DFI, has 22 or­gan­i­sa­tions up­load­ing con­tent, which is be­ing worked on by civil so­ci­eties, gov­ern­ment or­gan­i­sa­tions and in­dus­trial bodies

The Daisy Fo­rum of In­dia (DFI), a fo­rum con­sist­ing of 174 or­gan­i­sa­tions from across the coun­try, was re­cently awarded the Ac­ces­si­ble Books Con­sor­tium (ABC) award at the Lon­don Book Fair for work­ing for visu­ally chal­lenged peo­ple and those hav­ing a slow vi­sion or are print dis­abled.

Among their ini­tia­tives which were recog­nised is an on­line ac­ces­si­ble li­brary called Sugamya Pus­takalaya, which con­tains a col­lec­tion of more than 10,000 ac­ces­si­ble books. The books also in­cludes re­search ma­te­rial, texts and other books.

Jatin Jindal, a stu­dent who is cur­rently pre­par­ing for his higher stud­ies said a plat­form such as the on­line li­brary helped him clear his bach­e­lor's de­gree.

“It is very dif­fi­cult to find books avail­able in Braille for higher stud­ies. I don not know how I would have com­pleted my ed­u­ca­tion had I not got ac­cess to the li­brary. I get rel­e­vant ma­te­rial on the li­brary even now as I pre­pare for Univer­sity Grants Com­mis­sion ex­ams,” said Jindal.

The on­line li­brary de­vel­oped by DFI, has 22 or­gan­i­sa­tions up­load­ing con­tent, which is be­ing worked on by civil so­ci­eties, gov­ern­ment or­gan­i­sa­tions and in­dus­trial bodies.

“The award is a huge mo­ti­va­tion and recog­ni­tion for us to work for em­pow­er­ing those, who are visu­ally im­paired. We just hope it will end the book drought for the print dis­abled peo­ple of all the di­verse groups in In­dia who are eco­nom­i­cally, ge­o­graph­i­cally, so­cially and lin­guis­ti­cally not vi­able,” said Dipen­dra Manocha, Pres­i­dent, DFI.

The Xavier’s Re­source Cen­tre for the Visu­ally Chal­lenged (XRCVC), Fort, is also a part of the fo­rum, which re­ceived the ABC in­ter­na­tional ex­cel­lence award for ac­ces­si­ble pub­lish­ing.

Giv­ing con­text to the ini­tia­tive, Sam Tara­porevala, Di­rec­tor of XRCVC and Vice-Pres­i­dent of DFI, said an on­line li­brary would help re­duce du­pli­ca­tion.

“Ac­cord­ing to amended copy­right act, a book can be recre­ated on non-profit ba­sis for peo­ple with print dis­abil­ity. Thus, there are many such or­gan­i­sa­tions across the coun­try work­ing to recre­ate con­tent for them. Through Sugamya, a lot of money and man­power could be saved,” said Tara­porevala.

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