Blind students get to 'see' world monuments
Architecture students create replicas of famous monuments to help visually-impaired students learn. Mallica Joshi reports.delhi Updated: Dec 01, 2012 01:49 IST
She has heard about the beauty of the Taj Mahal and the engineering marvel that the London Bridge is but Tahira has never been able to understand what makes these architectural wonders so special.
For her and millions of other blind people, a mere description of what a monument looks like is the closest they have come to seeing the real thing.
A group of students at the School of Planning and Architecture (SPA) along with NGO Saksham, however, has come up with 12 miniature models of monuments from across the world to help blind children touch and try and understand for themselves what the monuments looks like.
The students and design workshop faculty at SPA undertook the project to develop to-scale architectural models of well-known monuments and structures from around the world for the visually-impaired children at Saksham. The idea was floated by the NGO and quickly taken up by Vikrant Sharma, a guest faculty at the school.
"I heard about the idea that Saksham had and spoke to the first year students of the Workshop and Design class at SPA about it. It is a process that will benefit the visually-impaired children as well as the students as it will make them more socially aware and compassionate citizens," said Sharma.
The 70 students have worked in groups for 6 weeks and come up with 12 miniatures that go on display on Saturday at the school.
"If we had to indicate a water body, students have used wet sponge to recreate the effect since this project is more about the feel. Durability has also been kept in mind and the students have used materials such as plastic, plaster of Paris, PVC pipes and paints to recreate different textures," Sharma added.
According to members at Saksham, learning about heritage structures is very important for visually-impaired students.
"A visit to a museum, whether of art, local history or technology, or to a site of historical importance, is just as worthwhile for the blind and partially sighted as it is for visitors without visual impairments. They learn about their culture and past history," said Rumy Seth, member, Saksham.