Sunday, 28 June 2009

[creative-radio] PUNE India: Radio programme for, of and by the visually-impaired

Radio programme for, of and by the visually-impaired
Times of India - India
We want to make visually-impaired students well-versed with every aspect of
community radio service," says Anand Deshmukh, director of Vidyawani. ...

"...PUNE: For over an hour, visually-impaired and sighted students
interacted with each other on air over music and sports, even grammar. ...

The programme was Braille Webradio Dnyanadrushtiche Saadhak Aamhi' (In
pursuit of Knowledge) run for, of and by the visually impaired, which went
live on Vidyawani, the community radio station at the University of Pune
at 107.4 Mhz on Saturday afternoon. Students
from Jagruti School for Blind Girls, Alandi, and sighted students from
Aksharnandan participated.

Satish Navale, who conceptualised the idea of Braille radio, spearheads
the Dnyanadrushtiche Saadhak Aamhi' series. "This is the first time that a
radio programme for the visually-impaired has gone on air," he says. "The
aim of this programme is to give visually-impaired students professional
training in radio production, writing, presenting and other technical
aspects related to the field. Bringing the sighted and visually-impaired
together is a way to bridge the gap between the two and help the blind
live and develop normally within society, without feeling isolated." said
Navale, himself visually-impaired.

Navale is supported by a team of seven visually-impaired students who
learnt radio production and presentation on the job. "We have presented
this maiden episode as an experiment. We want to make visually-impaired
students well-versed with every aspect of community radio service," says
Anand Deshmukh, director of Vidyawani.

Rajani Indulkar, honorary secretary of the Poona School and Home for the
Blind Trust and Dnyaneshwar Tapkir, vice-president of the National
Federation of the Blind in Maharashtra (that runs Jagruti School) were
chief invitees at the programme.

"This is the first time I learnt just by listening. It was fun interacting
with the Jagruti students," says Parag Velankar, a Std IX Aksharnandan

The programme is supported by of the Board of College and University
Development (BCUD). "We are going to establish an extensive policy for the
rehabilitation and development of the visually impaired, which involves
training and even placements," said Pandit Vidyasagar, director of BCUD.

We also get guidance from the faculty of Pali at UoP and Mahesh Deokar and
Arvind Paranjape of IUCAA. "We want to include subjects like astronomy,
maths and science in our future episodes," said Navale.

The long-term plan of all those involved in this initiative is to approach
All India Radio (AIR) to broadcast programmes of, for and by the visually
impaired. "We want to motivate and guide the physically disabled through
this radio programme. The visually impaired are the first to be invited to
participate in it," said Sanjeev Sonawane, professor and head of the
department of education and extension, under which visually impaired
students get assistance in Braille.

"Such a programme will help the visually impaired gain more knowledge just
by hearing because their auditory senses are the sharpest," said Indulkar.

The next episode of Dnyanadrushtiche Saadhak Aamhi' will be a two-hour
segment to be aired on September 5, on the occasion of Teacher's Day. "We
plan to invite visually-impaired teachers, as well as visually-impaired
students for this show," said Navale, who is also planning a special
episode to be based and recorded on the Wagah Border in mid-October. ..."

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