World Braille Day is observed on 4 January. It celebrates awareness of the importance of braille as a means of communication (backed by the full realization of the human rights for blind and visually-impaired people).
Most importantly, World Braille Day also acknowledges that people who are blind or visually impaired should have the same rights as everyone else. Tracing the history of World Braille Day, it goes back to November 2012, when the United Nations formally acknowledged the occasion. Since then, the day has been dedicated – to promote awareness about the importance of braille literacy.
World Braille Day is observed actually, to honor the birth of Louis Braille, the inventor of Braille. As a result, today blind or visually impaired people across the world are living better lives because of Braille’s invention. And, 200 years later, Braille is still used to translate books and make life easier for people with visual impairment. To communicate with persons who are blind, Braille is frequently utilized in common objects including payment machines, shampoo bottles, prescription packets and so on.
So, Braille is important in terms of literacy, freedom of speech and belief, community cohesiveness, as stated in article 2 of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.
Differently-abled people continue to face challenges despite many campaigns to raise awareness. They do face a number of problems that still need to be addressed. But we do see people who rise above any challenge and make a success of it. Like this visually challenged woman from Kerala; a resident of Thrissur, she is almost 100 per cent blind, but she has not let that pull her down! She sells her homemade products in many states today, and she is also encouraged by many people. In fact, she started the successful business during the lockdown. Now, her entrepreneurial feat has actually transformed her into an inspiration for many. She got support from Former state finance minister Thomas Isaac and Higher Education Minister R Bindhu. Luckily, after they shared her story, support and praise poured in for this woman entrepreneur.
Another remarkable facility was started by the Department of Social Welfare, Goa where the government has been the continuously, persistently active to provide the differently-abled people with maximum facilities which are essential for the social, economic and vocational rehabilitation.The objectives were very clear – to provide financial assistance to the NGO’s working for the rehabilitation of Persons with Disabilities to set up Braille Library for Visually Disabled Persons;and to provide sophisticated and scientifically manufactured, modern, standard audio visual aid, Braille Books, talking books, etc.
So, let not any visual inability block the progress of anyone. Let them be charged by braille – to forge ahead!!