Planetary Society of India launches a Braille newsletter on science and astronomy to tap potential of such children

Society has prepared sample copies of newsletter

Plan to distribute them at Govt. School for Blind

HYDERABAD: In an effort to unlock the untapped potential of visually-challenged children and to make available Braille literature on science and astronomy, which are pretty rare to find, city-based Planetary Society of India (PSI), has launched a Braille newsletter aptly titled Chandrayaan, India’s first unmanned moon mission.

In association with Government Braille Press of Malakpet and Department of Astronomy, Osmania University, the society has already prepared sample copies of the newsletter and are making efforts to distribute them among children at Government School for Blind (Girls) Malakpet.

According to the society members, the newsletter is aimed at inspiring the visually-challenged, who are more than capable of using their mental prowess to good use. Fittingly, the newsletter has a special chapter on Stephen Hawking, the celebrated science thinker who despite his physical handicap, made it big. “It’s very easy to publish a newsletter in Braille. However, it is impossible these days to find science and astronomy literature that will suit the needs of the visually-challenged. Moreover, there is also a dire need for funding such projects,” points out Gangaram, Manager, Government Braille Press.

The newsletter also has a full chapter dedicated to the Chandrayaan project. “It would be a giant leap for Indian space community and it is quite apt to dedicate a full chapter on Chandrayaan,” says general secretary of Planetary Society of India (AP Chapter) N. Raghunandan Kumar.

Funding

Members from PSI point out that they are in constant touch with Indian Space Research Organisation to acquire funding for the project, so that these newsletters could be taken to other parts of the State. “We feel that despite the handicap, if children from an early age are exposed to science or astronomy, they would definitely become an asset to the society. However, the catch here is whether this concept can be sustained for long,” Mr. Kumar said.