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Saturday, 5 December 2015

Focus on the differently-abled - Tiruchirappalli

Jagadjothi Readers Circle of Visually Challenged marked the International Day of Persons with Disabilities with a function held recently to highlight the unique capabilities of the differently-abled in this district.

Held at the District Central Library, the occasion served the purpose of recounting the group’s success in its empowerment of the visually impaired in and around Tiruchi since its formal launch in August this year. “We should not make our disability our identity,” I. Abdul Jabbar, one of the prime movers of the reading circle initiative, who is working as a senior history teacher at a government school in Kattur. “Celebrating the Disability Day shows us what we are capable of when given the right opportunity to grow.”

Some 150 visually impaired students have been benefited by the reading circle, which brings together over 50 sighted volunteers to create a database of audio recordings of study material and help students with written course assignments.

Plans to expand Jagadjothi’s existing database by linking up to Bookshare, an online American library of reading material for the visually impaired, are in the pipeline, said Mr. Abdul Jabbar.

The function, attended by over 100 people, felicitated chief guests J. Radhika, principal, Srimad Andavan College, Srirangam and M. Prabhavathi, head, Centre for Differently Abled Persons, Bharathidasan University, senior District Central Library officials and well-wishers.

“We are all the same, and we hope society will become more inclusive as days go by,” said P. Selvaraj, librarian, District Central Library.

Among the many highlights of the year that were outlined by the programme organisers were the admission of 15 visually impaired students by the Srimad Andavan College, and the starting of a digital audio news reading service that had drawn over 800 listeners so far.

The group had set itself the goal of producing a student capable of topping the Indian Civil Service examinations, said Mrs. Prabha Venkatraman, one of the co-founders of the reading circle, while addressing the gathering.

Sivasankar, a visually impaired student from Jamal Mohamed College, staged a mimicry performance that was well-received by the audience.

Source: The Hindu , 6 Dec 2015 

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