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Tamil gets first Braille magazine


K SUBRAMANIAN | Chennai, August 6, 2011 16:27
Tags : Braille magazine | published Tamil | jinnah | blind | indian association for blind |

Do you think it is possible for blind people to bring out a magazine for blind people? Whatever you think, S. M. A. Jinnah, founder and secretary, Indian Association for Blind, has done it. He published Vizhichaval (challenge of eyes) the first Braille magazine published in Tamil.

Jinnah himself is a visually challenged person who lost his sight when he was studying VII standard. Self-confidence was the only hope he had to overcome all odds. He was the first visually challenged person who got degree from American College, Madurai.

Twenty-five years ago, Jinnah established Indian Association for Blind for the benefit of people like him to get equal opportunity in the society. Today the school he runs has 200 students and classes up to +2. He has helped more than 5000 blind students to become literate. To compete with normal people a visually impaired person needs to get all information and knowledge that is available to normal people. “The magazine Vishichaval is the first step towards that goal,” says Jinnah.

"We have published Thirukkural, Nannool (both are Sangam literature), Abdul Kalam's Agni Siragukal (Wings of Fire) in Tamil Braille and Cre-A Braille dictionary. There was no Tamil magazine for blind people and if they want to read a book, someone has to read it for them. So, we decided to bring a Braille magazine in Tamil. A visually impaired person can know about the government schemes meant for them, learn how to operate computer and many more things from this magazine.

We are planing to publish stories, poems and essays of blind people so that they will get a chance to express their creativity. Except the editor of the magazine, Ramani, entire staff is visually challenged. We hope, this magazine will create awareness among public about differently abled people. The first issue came out in June and it has 50 subscribers. The magazine is distributed among all the students of our school," Jinnah told TSI.

There are software to read English books that have been uploaded on websites and visually challenged persons can benefit out of it but there is no such software for Tamil books and other regional language books. “The government should take initiative in this direction to help blind students,” Jinnah says.

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Issue Dated: Feb 5, 2017