CHENNAI: In a first of its kind initiative to make it more inclusive, the Chennai Book Fair will offer Braille editions of a limited number of books. The organisers have spoken to publishers to make some of their books available in Braille.
“We have spoken to the publishers at the Chennai Book Fair to give some of their books for Braille editions. Also, we have identified a service provider to convert books into Braille. So, after a customer selects a book, the service provider will convert it into Braille,” said K S Pugalendi, secretary of Booksellers and Publishers Association of South India.
The service provider, Karna Vidya Technology Centre (KVTC), has a stall at the ongoing book fair. The stall has a collection of children’s books, dictionaries, books on leaders etc., in Braille. “Once a book is given to us, we can make a Braille copy and get it delivered to the customer. An English book can be completed within a week. Tamil take around two weeks, as the script is more challenging to put in Braille,” said Kirthika J, from KVTC. Apart from the Braille books, the stall also provides hands-on experience of Braille slates, which will help visually impaired students make their own Braille copies. The stall also provides information on audio books, digital ebooks and screen reading software for the visually impaired.
Apart from online and home delivery options, this year’s fest has come up with a whole range of facilities, be it WiFi hotspots within the fest or short film festival at the venue. A range of writers, scholars and public personalities will visit the fair in the coming days. This will include scholar Suki Siivam, Tamil Scholar Nanjil Sampath, film director Ponvannan, scholar and orator Ku Gnansambandam, Nellai Kannan, Valla Karuppaiah, novelist Bharathi Krishnakumar, author Thamizhachi Thangapandian, poet Na Muthukumar and lyricist Madhan Karky.
In a bid to promote online sales of the Chennai Book Fair, the organisers have announced freebies, including free delivery and special discounts. The organisers are also looking at extending the delivery options to various countries, including Sri Lanka, Singapore and UK to target the Tamil Diaspora.