MUMBAI: India's first online Braille library, with 12,000 books in the catalogue, has been unveiled here and it will fulfill the needs of the students pursuing higher education in institutions across the country.
It is the joint initiative by the National Institute of Visually Handicapped (NIVH), Dehradun and the Xavier's Resource Centre for Visually Challenged, Mumbai. The library permits the students to download books and also read them via refreshable Braille display systems (RBDS). The initiative has got a website that will be hosting the members, which would be the institute's libraries across India. The libraries have also been given a username and a password.
Moreover, the libraries will be uploading all books available to their online catalogue. With the aim to achieve access, a student is needed to login with the institute's username and password. The books can be downloaded instantly and transferred to the RBDS (a flat horizontal monitor consisting of 80 cells).
Ms Anuradha Mohit, Director, NIVH, said, “Now we have a generation of young computer users among blind persons. Therefore, the launch has been very timely.” The technology is not as advanced as that in the developed countries but it is still a good start. The RBDS would help the students to read only one to two sentences at one go.
100 such monitors have been dispatched by the NIVH, which will be used on shared basis by students.
The portal has got books in 13 languages that display text in the corresponding Braille script. By March next year, it is expected to have books in all the Indian languages.