ISLAMABAD: Pakistan’s first ever Braille Book Corner named as “Gosha-i-Noor” was inaugurated at National Library of Pakistan (NLP) on Thursday in a ceremony, marking the birthday celebrations week of Louis Braille-the inventor of Braille system for visually impaired persons.
“Access to knowledge is the right of every human being and we will make all out efforts to ensure provision of this right to all the people especially those with disabilities to protect them from any sense of deprivation,” said Advisor to Prime Minister on National History and Literary Heritage (NH&LH) Irfan Siddiqui.
While inaugurating the Braille Book Corner he interacted with the visually impaired students from Al-Maktoom Special Education Center for Visually Handicapped Children. Speaking at the ceremony, Siddiqui said any kind of disability cannot stop the courageous and committed people from moving forward in their lives and achieving their cherished goals.
“Fingers are known to writing only but reading with the help of fingers is an additional ability of the visually impaired people which we cannot find in the ordinary people,” he said. The visually impaired people have been rendering their contributions in different fields of life however they must be provided maximum facilities and opportunities to acquire education and conduct research, he asserted.
For nearly 200 years, braille code has enabled people with vision impairments around the world to get education and this braille book corner is an effort to make variety of books accessible to the visually impaired students.
Siddiqui said the availability of braille books at NLP will facilitate blind persons through catering their educational needs. He said initially more than 60 braille books including copies of Holy Quran have been placed in this corner while the number of books will be increased gradually.
He said computers with latest relevant software and other necessary material will be placed in the corner by the end of this financial year.
It is very unfortunate that NLP was not given any funds for upgrading its facilities since the last three decades, he lamented.
However in the current budget, an amount of Rs115 million has been allocated for NLP which is being utilized for digitization of rare books and upgrading its facilities on modern lines, he added.
Irfan Siddiqui thanked Managing Director, Inamul Haq Javed for provision of braille books to NLP.
Speaking on the occasion, First blind Journalist of Pakistan, Syed Sardar Ahmad Pirzada said inauguration of Braille Book Corner in the month of January has a great relevance as Louis Braille (1809-1852) a French educator and inventor of Braille was born in this month.
Published in The Express Tribune, January 12th, 2018.