Children enter world of learning at Braille Vidyarambham

While the instinctive response from most children and adults for what A stands for, is ‘Apple,’ Revathy Krishnan states ‘Apricot,’ albeit after much coaxing. The nine-year-old, along with Shifana Maria, 12, were the two children who participated in the Braille ‘Vidyarambham’ on Wednesday. This unusual addition to the slew of ‘Vidyarambham’ programmes in the city on Vijayadasami Day was organised by the Chakshumathi Charitable Trust in association with the Regional Institute of Ophthalmology (RIO), Kanthari International, and the Jyothirgamaya Mobile School for the Blind. The unfamiliar voices that filled the hall at the RIO disconcerted Revathy who sat on her father’s lap and was cajoled to gingerly punch in a few letters using the Braille pad, which replaced the platter of rice grains that marks the entrance of the child into the world of letters. During the programme, four persons, in the 19-29 age group, were initiated as well. Tiffany Maria Brar, an inspirational figure in promoting literacy among visually challenged children, with her Mobile Blind School, Jyothirgamaya was among those who led the exercise. “There is no differentiation on religious, caste, class or any community lines in the work we do,” she said, adding that the right attention and care should be given to the differently abled following careful analysis of their condition. Along with her was a volunteer of Chakshumathi, Sreeja V.K., who had only recently gained her sight back following medical treatment and an operation last year. “So many people are not aware of the technological advancements made and of the facilities that allow those with visual challenges to complete their education unhindered,” said Ram Kamal, managing trustee of Chakshumathi.

Revathy’s family had only recently approached the organisation and her case would be looked into, he said. Sabriye Tenberken, a person working for the visually challenged through Braille Without Borders, also participated in the programme. She said the challenge should not be perceived as an impediment, especially in terms of completing education. Also present was chairman of Chakshumathi V.K. Damodaran.