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The braille new world

It wouldn't be nice if you were blind. It wouldn't be at all nice if you were blind and had absolutely no ray of light -- nor hope of any -- entering your world.

Which is how it has been for most of India's blind population uptil now.

So what is new?

Nothing great, for us lucky billions. But for the sightless millions, this -- Samarth Chetna, a braille Hindi weekly -- is great news.

The magazine, aimed at bringing the visually impaired and other handicapped into the mainstream, has already commenced publication in both braille and ink.

"Chetna will create a better understanding about the handicapped," said Information and Broadcasting Minister S Jaipal Reddy, "besides helping in the cause of literacy of both handicapped and normal persons."

The magazine is the world's first publication which caters simultaneously to both the normal and visually impaired, claimed editor Chaman Prakash Sharma. Nearly 40 per cent of Chetna will be devoted to the handicapped; the rest would deal with current topics.

For the country's sightless, the magazine holds out a promise -- of the beginning of a braille news revolution.

Everything now depends on how Chetna performs.


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