A few months ago, when Lok Sabha speaker Meira Kumar handed over a certificate of participation to a visually impaired student on a study visit to Parliament, she faced an innocent but important question: “But how will I read this certificate?”
Kumar, a former Union minister for social justice and empowerment, took note of the situation.
Taking this into account, the Lok Sabha secretariat has now prepared certificates in Braille for all such children who come on a study tour.
“Now, whenever any visually impaired child comes, he or she will be handed over the certificate in Braille,” said an official from the speaker’s office.
The Lok Sabha has specifically prepared these certificates with help from the Helen Keller Institute in Mumbai.
The institute, established in 1977, is a premier organisation that develops education programmes, as well as facilitatory aids, for visually impaired children.
Every month, more than 100 school children come to Parliament for special study tours from various corners of the country. It begins with them making a few rounds of the Parliament building, the library building and the museum — followed by a brief lecture on the history of Parliament and a meeting with the speaker, where the students are free to clear their doubts.
The speaker hands over the certificates of participation to the students at the end of their interaction.
Officials at Kumar’s office told HT that a special programme is underway to enable visually impaired students to get a better understanding of Parliament and its processes.