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AUDIO BOOKS for the Visually Challenged by WE4YOU
Spreading the Light of Education!A Remarkable Initiative...It’s not easy to let go of a lucrative career, and it’s even harder to forego the same in order to choose the path of social welfare. The founding members of We4You, an NGO with substantial presence in Bhubaneswar, Bengaluru and New Delhi (soon to extend across India) are in their twenties, but have already achieved this feat. Their commitment towards the reinvigoration of the underprivileged sections of society and the specially-abled is truly remarkable. Indeed if the youth arise and act, they have the strength and dynamism to generate a huge transformation in society!Project Audio Book...Project Audio Book, is We4You’s most ambitious project till date, and it involves the development of an all-inclusive Audio Syllabus, featuring the curriculums of all State Boards and National Boards for the benefit of visually impaired students at a pan-India level. Beginning with the setting up of state-of-the-art Audio Book Recording Studios, these high quality Audio Books (along with Speakers and Audio Players) would be compiled and freely distributed amongst all Educational Institutes for the Visually Impaired. Having started this project in Odisha over the past 4 years, a whopping 10,000+ students have already benefitted from Project Audio Book. It is the relentless efforts of Team We4You and 100+ dedicated Volunteers (well-educated students and professionals from different sectors) that have enabled the recording and free distribution of over 2000 audio books in the state so far, despite very basic recording facilities and meagre funding. As a matter of fact, the creation of Audio Books is a very profitable business model, but Team We4You has vowed never to budge from its selfless work for the visually-impaired, most of who were born this way owing to malnourishment and downtrodden conditions.Work in Progress....Slowly and steadily, the NGO is spreading the word about the potential benefits of implementing this project at an all-India level, covering more than 500,000 visually impaired students. A number of corporate houses have displayed interest in this endeavour, and are in the process of contributing towards this noble project. We4You’s ambitions do not merely end at the creation of and distribution of Audio Books and an Audio Library. In order to further boost the confidence and academic abilities of the visually impaired, the NGO is also developing Optical Character Reader Software for all Regional Languages, coupled with Braille Printers for full-fledged education. Not only do they provide free audio books to students, but also conduct vocational training workshops such as Candle-Making, Tailoring, Art and Crafts etc, as well as Spoken English, Computer and Personality Development Modules for enhancing their livelihood opportunities.Creating Awareness....After all, in a country of 1.25 billion, a staggering 15 million suffer from visual impairment. A majority of them belong to the economically backward section of society, and are unable to garner required support to pursue their education. One of the major hurdles for most educational institutions for the visually impaired, is the lack of resources. Braille Books are short in supply, and most students have to depend on sparse lending libraries, where the books need to be returned. In the absence of any permanent or tangible study material, it is very difficult for such students to enhance their knowledge base or prepare for examinations. They end up becoming helplessly co-dependent, and a burden on their family members.Youth is the Future!In this regard, the Audio Book Project by We4You is a much-desired step; one that would go a long way in empowering visually impaired students. Very soon, the team will develop a website where the visually impaired from anywhere in India, can directly download the Audio Books as per their requirement, which not only includes course material, but Recreational Books as well. With the light of education that this Bhubaneswar-based NGO is spreading, these students will definitely turn out to more knowledgeable, self-dependent and be able to make their mark in life!