As the global community gears up to observe the World Disability Day on Thursday, millions of physically challenged people across India are yet to get access to reading and writing material with only one per cent of books published being transcribed for them.
"India has 28 lakh visually-impaired persons. This is perhaps the highest population in any country in the world. Yet we don't have a reliable arrangement to enable them equal access to literature," said Anuradha Mohit, Director of Dehradun-based National Institute for Visually Handicapped, a body under the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment.
Most of the literature in all cultures is mainly available in printed form. These books cannot be accessed by the physically disabled like visually impaired, people suffering from dyslexia and other physical impairments.
Moreover, there is not enough infrastructure for producing the material to meet the demand.
"As per the requirement, braille textbooks for school-going children would be printed in 27 crores pages of braille per year. Unfortunately, our total braille printing capacity is not more than seven crore pages per annum," Mohit adds.