Visually challenged MA student helps develop device to teach Marathi in Braille
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
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