Bhubaneswar, September 15 (Odisha.in) Lack of coordinated efforts by the government and some private organizations and profit making attitude by the publishers have made the Braille books and journals for the blind students in the state a sorry picture.
Even, the only monthly Oriya Braille magazine ‘ Anubhaba’ was winded up by the publisher since more than a decade thanks to the slipshod attitude of the authority.
“The Braille publishers refuse to reduce prices of Braille books on the plea of lesser profits when in reality production economy would work for them if they produced large number of books in Braille for the 2.5 lakh blind persons of the state.
Even the government’s efforts to spread Braille literature are not only inadequate but at times half hearted”, said Sanyasi Behera the general secretary of Utkal Blind Association of Bhubenswer.
The state has population 5.35 blind persons as per the 2001 census report. But only, 2000 blinds have facilities to get education in 28 blind schools in the state.
Jajpur, Nabarangapur and Jagatasinghpur districts of the state have no blind school. At present, we are getting Braille books for the Class -1 to Class- V students.
But, large numbers of Class VI to X students are not getting sufficient books.
In Orissa, college libraries have no Braille books for which many blind students face an impediment for their higher study.
The situation can be easily mended and thousands of blind students of the state would have greater access to Braille books if the state education department would provide financial helps to the publishers, he said.
There is naturally no sustained program for promotion of Braille books in Oriya or English language.
Galloping prices of good quality paper and lack of government support is stunting the growth of Braille books and journals in the state”, added Behera.
Unfortunately the education department and the publisher of Braille books have yet to comprehend the spirit behind the publication and supplying of Braille literatures in Oriya and English languages, said Behera.
Emphatic steps must be taken to penetrate the various segments of our population, enlarge our print-runs, bring down the prices of the books and make them available to a large number of blinds in the remotest corners of the state, said Behera.
“We used to get more information about the state and other things through a Braille Oriya magazine ‘Anubhava’ till 1994 as the only Oriya Braille magazine was winded up in 1994 by the only Braille press of the state in Berhampur.
At present, we are not getting any Braille Oriya magazine despite the disability Act making it obligatory for the state to provide free the books”, said Rakesh Das a blind student of Kendrapada blind school.