Book Fair sends mes­sage of in­clu­sive­ness

Hindustan Times (Delhi) - - METRO - Press Trust of In­dia htre­[email protected]­dus­tan­

NEW DELHI: Walk­ing around the theme pavil­ion at the New Delhi World Book Fair, one can spot a range of aides for the vis­ually im­paired -- Braille geom­e­try sets, chess boards, a set of play­ing cards, but oddly enough, not many books.

The vis­i­ble short­age of lit­era- ture for peo­ple with dis­abil­ity at the fair themed, “Books for Read­ers with Spe­cial Needs”, can be at­trib­uted to the dearth of pub­lish­ers work­ing in the sec­tor, said one of the of­fi­cials from Na­tional Book Trust (NBT). “When we started work­ing on this theme, we re­alised there was very lit­tle work done in this sec­tor by pub­lish­ers, and that re­mains our main aim -- to sen- si­tise the pub­lish­ing fra­ter­nity to ad­dress this need,” Neera Jain, chief ed­i­tor and joint di­rec­tor, NBT, said.

Dis­ap­point­ment over the lack of books for in­di­vid­u­als with spe­cial needs was also ex­pressed by Narayani Kaushik, a hear­ing-im­paired stu­dent of psy­chol­ogy, who had been look­ing for­ward to the fair, par­tic­u­larly be­cause of its theme this year. She hoped to find ma­te­rial on dis­abil­i­ties be­yond phys­i­cal ones to make her­self more aware.

“I like that they have done ex­ten­sive work for blind peo­ple, but I could not find a sin­gle book on sign lan­guage, or books on dif­fer­ent forms of men­tal dis­or­ders, that would have been help­ful,” Kaushik told PTI on Sun­day.

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