Blind Persons’ Association has received a high quality Braille printer from Oil and Natural Gas Commission, Kolkata for its Braille printing facility. This printer was formally handed over today by Shri Hemant Kumar Sethi, the General Manager of ONGC at a function at the premises of the Braille press at Lal Bihari Shah Braille Academia at Vidyapalli, Malancha-Mahinagar. It was an ONGC programme under the Corporate Social Responsibility Scheme.
Dr. A. Gangatharan of the department of history of Benaras Hindu University in his speech laid stress on the challenges of Braille producers to reach out to more and more blind students. Bertrand Russell’s “The Problems of Philosophy” completed in two Braille volumes was released on this occasion.
This printer, Braillo 300 S2, of Norwegian make is capable of printing at a relatively high speed and produces dots of excellent and durable quality. Braille papers are too costly. The association has to spend Rs. 1.70 for every Braille sheet. Naturally, these costly books need to be durable for the money’s worth.
Blind Persons’ Association offers Braille books at paper cost to institutions. For individuals these are provided just for Rs. 10 per Braille volume. The paper cost of “New Look on Modern Indian History (From 1707 to the Modern Times)” by B. L. Grover is Rs. 1,899. But this huge Braille book, completed in 19 Braille volumes, will cost Rs. 190 for a student.
The organisation hopes to increase its production of Braille books with the addition of this new Braille printer. Books are supplied all over India using the free postal facility for Braille books. It has so far supplied Braille books to almost all states in the country. Books of this Braille press have also been sent to Bangladesh, Pakistan and Mauritius. Anybody can check its online catalogue and place an order over email. Braille books are still scarcely available in India and, Blind Persons’ Association, one of very few producers of Braille books, is exploring every opportunity to increase its production.