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By Way2k Way2k
Way2k 10 Oct 2012
Looking Ahead

For someone who is visually challenged, Siddhi Desai is everything a young achiver could hope to be. The 22-year-old student is pursuing her MA in Economics and Statistics from Gokhale Institute of Politics and Economics. She is also doing an internship with the Reserve Bank of India and will be going to Canada on an exchange programme in the next academic session. Siddhi has always had to overcome many hardships on her way to success. Now, Siddhi is helping a private company to develop a Braille reading system that will make learning easier for blind students.

Looking ahead 

Siddhi is originally from Thane. She wasn't born visually challenged, but unfortunately lost her sight at the age of five, after being given wrong medical treatment. Speaking to Pune Mirror, Siddhi explained that there are different ways of teaching blind students such as the recording system and books written in Braille. I faced many problems during my education while using books written in Braille. They had to be maintained very carefully as if one got lost or torn, it was difficult to get another. In college, I used the recording system to study. But now, with this device (called the Braille Reader), visually challenged students and teachers will get a boost, in learning, teaching and confidence. The company asked Siddhi to develop a process to teach visually challenged students by using the Braille reading system. She worked on it for two month along with Arun Phadke, a writer of Marathi Shuddha Lekhan and helped the company to introduce the novel system for visually challenged teachers and students of Marathi. When I was asked to develop the process by using the device, it was very significant for me. I found it more useful while teaching or learning, said Siddhi.

Siddhi said it was a big challenge for her to develop the teaching process. I am very happy that a device that was needed for blind students has been developed. The device is capable of storing over 2,000 Marathi and other languages. The Reader stores the entire Dictionary for correct Marathi words, teaching notes and tables. Instead of several books, all this is now available to visually challenged teachers in a small device the size of a regular book.
Siddhi worked on the books meant for teaching Marathi Shuddha Lekhan converted to Braille using the Shree Lipi Braille software. However, other subjects can also be used in the device. Raghunandan Joshi, joint managing director, Modular Infotech, said that the Braille Reader is the first device of its kind in Maharashtra and can be used as a teaching aid to blind as well as regular students.

Courtesy: Times of India

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