Story of Shilpa and Seema
In the words of Hellen Keller, Optimism is the faith that leads to achievement. Nothing can be done without hope and confidence”.
This is true of sisters Shilpa and Seema who have won against all odds to achieve success. They hail from a tiny village of Allan Taluk in the Gulbarga District of Karnataka. Their parents work as daily wage labourers and were heartbroken when both their daughters were diagnosed partially blind since birth. However, that did not stop them from providing basic education to the girls. Both the girls attended Shrimati Angobai Blind School in Gulbarga from Grades 1 to 10.
It was after completion of their high school that the parents decided to approach Mitra Jyothi for the Higher Education Program. Their seniors from school, who are beneficiaries of the Braille Press at Mitra Jyothi paved their way for this.
At Mitra Jyothi, both Shilpa and Seema were helped to obtain admission into the Government College where they are currently pursuing PUC. The girls who had already learnt Braille in their previous school, were keen to learn Contraction Braille. The Braille Press at Mitra Jyothi provided them not only with academic material, but also with Contraction Braille books. In addition to this, the girls who also love reading story books have borrowed so many short stories from the Braille Press that have contributed to their wisdom and confidence. Shilpa and Seema now feel empowered to continue their education and aspire to become government servants in the future.
Mitra Jyothi has been illuminating the dark world of the visually impaired students since the last 32 years by providing educational and non-educational material in multiple accessible formats. The Braille Press has over 350 plus books covering a wide range of topics for various age groups. It also has catered to reference material for aspirants preparing for various competitive exams. The Braille Press also has in-house publications, named Gnana Samhitha and Insight.
Summary: The primary objective of the project is to provide accessible reading material in Braille format to people with any kind of visual disability (from low vision and complete blindness to people at risk of losing vision with time). This applies to people from economically backward and marginalized communities with the intent of promoting education and enabling subsequent employment to many more beneficiaries like Shilpa and Seema.
Story of Amaresh - a proud Govt. employee!!
Amaresh, a regular member of our Mitra Jyothi library was born as blind to a family consisting of six members from a remote village in North Karnataka, India. His father is a daily wage worker, mother, a home maker and he has three siblings who are elder to him.
In addition to vision issue, Amaresh has to face poverty as well from his childhood. Awareness around different possibilities for a blind children education was NIL in his village. Still his parents didn’t give up, through various sources after lot of struggle they identified a special school. As soon as he came across braille, his interest towards learning increased a lot and he started looking to get more and more books. Mitra Jyothi came as a savior for him during that time and from then onwards he started taking support from Mitra Jyothi especially for braille books.
He completed his schooling, graduation and cleared government exams with the support of braille books from Mitra Jyothi. At present he is a proud employee in Indian Postal Department. Noteworthy point here is, Indian free postal service facility provided for materials sent to blind helped him to come up in life and he got a opportunity to serve the same department later.
He says today with pride – Mitra Jyothi gave me second birth with braille books and am sure the same for many of my Visually Impaired friends.
Mitra Jyothi has been always been providing books for visually impaired not only for enhancing knowledge, but also for the employability. The education resource center in Mitra Jyothi has always helped the visually impaired to break their barriers.
Summary: Main objective of the project is to provide accessible reading material in Braille format to people with any kind of visual disability (from low vision and complete blindness to people at risk of losing vision with time) from economically backward and marginalized communities to promote education and to enable many more like Amaresh.
As part of it, we had produced braille book for Visually Impaired people to get to know about the New Education Policy (NEP) 2020 in English & Kannada and distributed 20 copies to institutions teaching Visually Impaired students across India recently. This will help the Visually Impaired teachers to be on par with others during NEP discussions. More copies will be printed and shared based on demand in upcoming quarters as well.
Story of an young aspiring Visually Impaired beneficiary..
Roshni, 29yrs old, from Mangalore is completely blind by birth. Her father is a farmer and mother is a homemaker. She has 2 elder sisters who are married.
Roshni studied in a special school in Bengaluru till grade 7. Thereafter, she joined a mainstream sighted school to complete 10th grade. Then she moved back home to Mangalore and completed 12th grade and degree through correspondence.
Roshni was introduced to Braille in school and is very comfortable with it. She also learnt basic computer in school. When a friend told her about Mitra Jyothi, Roshni jumped at the opportunity to learn something new and joined the 3 month Computer course here. Also utilized the tenure well to fill her thrust towards reading new books. She read many books from Mitra Jyothi braille library and impressed with the computer literacy through screen readers book so much.
Roshni did not let her disability define her. She worked on her various interests to give another dimension to her personality. Being fond of music, she not only sings well but also learnt to play piano in school. Roshni loves to play with clay and give shape to her imagination by making clay flowers, candle stands etc. She doesn’t miss an opportunity to read a good book when she comes across one. Growing up with two elder sisters and in hostel with friends, Roshni picked up hairstyling as a hobby too.
After completing the computer course at Mitra Jyothi, Roshni aspires to take up a government job. She is sure that she can take up competitive exams with the support of books from Mitra Jyothi library.
Summary: Main objective of the project is to provide accessible reading material in Braille format to people with any kind of visual disability (from low vision and complete blindness to people at risk of losing vision with time) from economically backward and marginalized communities to promote education.
As part of it with the support of funds received through GlobalGiving project we had produced 4 new books and distributed 20 copies of each to the Visually Impaired students whoever had undergone Computer literacy training at Mitra Jyothi during last quarter.
Activities covered at Mitra Jyothi under the project are listed below: Convert to Braille format, proof read and save master braille copy.
Outcome: Every year around 75+ Visually Impaired students from pan India are getting trained in computers at Mitra Jyothi under 3 different batches. This year in addition to providing training and soft copy materials, Mitra Jyothi team produced the NIIT Foundation computer course material in braille as well and distributed to students for reference. This created huge difference and helped the students to refer for practice sessions and after classes as well. They expressed their sincere gratitude for the initiative.
Impact of Braille books in Kaseem!!!!
Kaseem hails from a small village in Shimoga Dist. His father is a farmer and
mother is a home-maker. He has two younger sisters and the youngest one is also Visually Impaired. Kaseem is Visually Impaired since birth. Hence braille plays a vital role in his studies.
Kaseem has completed his schooling from Shri Sharada Devi Andhara Vikasa
Kendra. Mitra Jyothi supports the school with braille books since many years and many students scored distinction with this support. It is from his school teachers that Kaseem came to know about Mitra Jyothi and the different programs offered by Mitra Jyothi. In addition to using the books from Mitra Jyothi, Kaseem was very eager to learn computer programming as well and had undergone two Months Basic Computer Training Program at Mitra Jyothi. Through this he got an opportunity to be at Mitra Jyothi for two months and during the tenure he utilized the braille press library to the fullest, read many stories and general knowledge books.
Now he is looking forward to get into degree college and pursue his higher studies. He says that he is fully confident that he can achieve his aspiration with the support of books from Mitra Jyothi braille press. Kaseem also likes to play Cricket and athletics, therefore he wants to pursue his career in sports field.
With Global Giving project support, Mitra Jyothi team is looking forward to enable many more like Kaseem.
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