This is Louis Braille, a French educator. He invented a reading and writing system based on touch for people who are visually impaired. This system or language is called the Braille language. This language is punched into paper and when a person moves their fingers on them, they can read it. It uses six dots to represent alphabets, numbers, or music notes.
Louis braille met with an accident in his father’s harness shop. The accident made him lose the vision of one eye but the infection slowly spread, and he lost the vision from both his eyes. But even with few resources for the visually impaired at that time, he bagged a scholarship to Royal Institute for Blind Youth for his academic achievements.
Why Braille Day?
World Braille Day is celebrated on 4th January, the birthday of Louis Braille. World Braille Day started to be celebrated in the year 2019. It is important to raise awareness about Braille. And in my opinion, each and everyone, whether visually impaired or not should know braille language. This will make the world more inclusive for people with different abilities.
The Blind People’s Association
The BPA was started as the Blind Men’s Association (BMA) in 1954, in Ahmedabad. It was a recreation club for the visually impaired people, started with the efforts of Mr. Jagdish Patel. The BMA got renamed in 1998, to the Blind People’s Association. The association not only works for visually impaired people, but also for the people with multiple-disabilities since 1989. It works to rehabilitate people with disabilities, and equip and empower them to be financially independent and lead a life filled with dignity.
I have had the opportunity to visit this wonderful organization during my post-graduate educational tour to Ahmedabad. It has been a life-changing experience for me.
One of their experimental projects called ‘The vision in dark’ has stayed with me. It is a guided tour where a person enters a dark room that has various stops such as a temple, a garden, a restaurant and others. We couldn’t see anything; it was pitch dark. A visually impaired woman guided us through it. We also sat in a cinema hall. It played the movie Dangal. No, we didn’t watch the movie, we just heard it.
I would urge everyone to have this experience the next time you visit Ahmedabad. You can write to us if you want more details on it.