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Kerala: UC College publishes magazine in braille 6.11.2022

Former principal of UC College Thara K Simon releases the college magazine in braille format by handing over a copy to Rojith R J, a blind student. Also seen is magazine editor Emil Eldho

KOCHI: The current academic year's college magazine of the Union Christian College, Aluva has a rare distinction. It has been printed in normal print as well as in braille.

It is to cater to the needs of 10 ten blind students that the college union brought out the magazine in braille as well. "We have 16 students with visual disabilities. 10 among them are totally blind. So, we thought they also should get an opportunity to read the magazine rather than listening to its audio version," said Emil Eldho, magazine editor, at UC College.

Emil Eldho held discussions with Rojith RJ, a student with visual disabilities to design the proposal. "We published the braille magazine at a press at Kondotty in Malappuram. 10 copies of the magazine were printed in braille at a discounted rate of Rs 40,000. The cost of printing 2,400 copies of the magazine in normal print was around Rs 1,20,000. There are 216 pages in the magazine in the normal print while the magazine in braille has 275 pages," Emil Eldho said.

The office bearers of the college union claimed that it is for the first time that a college magazine is being completely printed in braille.

"We also have plans to create a social media or WhatsApp group of scribes who are ready to write exams on behalf of blind students. As we have students with severe visual disabilities in our college, we need the support of scribes. But it is difficult to get scribes, that is why we plan to create a pool of scribes," Rojith RJ said.

The QR code of the magazine's audio version was made by Ecosia, an agency that has said that it will plant saplings using a part of its revenue. "When the audio version of the magazine is downloaded each time, Ecosia will get a nominal amount which will be used to plant a sapling. We have 2,400 students and with each download, Ecosia will get enough funds to plant 2,400 saplings," Emil Eldho said.

Another interesting feature of the college magazine is that a mother and son, both students of the college, have written articles in the magazine. V K Shahina is a PhD student with the Malayalam department while her son Riswi Choudhury is a BA economics student. Interestingly, both of them chose cinema as the topic of their article.