Asha Trust - Progressive Literature for Sightless (IASER)

Project Brief: The Indian Association for the Special Education and Rehabilitation (IASER) is planning to start this project. Using a computer, a scanner and an OCR program, college level books will be scanned and made available through CDs to the blind students
Project Type: Children with Disabilities (description)
Primary Focus: creating resources (description)

Secondary Focus: other

Area: Urban
Supporting Chapter Contact: Cleveland
Status: completed - requirements ended
Project Steward: Santanu Panda
Project Partner(s): Jagdish Chander
Other Contacts:
Project Address: , Indian Association for Special Education, Flat No. 404,,Pocket 4, Sector 2,Rohini,
DELHI  110085
Tel: +91-11-2766-2628.
Stewarding Chapter: Cleveland
Jun 2013ClevelandUSD 10568
Feb 2012ClevelandUSD 5345
Nov 2010ClevelandUSD 5260
Aug 2009ClevelandUSD 4562
Apr 2008NYC/NJUSD 2688
Mar 2008ClevelandUSD 3313
Jul 2007ClevelandUSD 3282

Total = $35018

The Modus of Operandi of the Project
Initially, it will be a project for three years and it can be enlarged as per the demand of the consumers and as per the need of the hour. It is proposed that during this period, attempts will be made to find indigenous funding so that a sense of involvement be developed even in the funding agencies based in India.

However, the plan is given hereunder for a year. To run such a project, one needs two computers and two scanners. It is estimated that one may need about a dozen books preferably the reference books or original writings. It is planned to provide reading material of about 72 books in the first year.

So far as the manpower is concerned, there is a plan of organizing this project in two shifts with a view of maximum output. Hence, there will be an involvement of four computer literate and academic oriented persons.

For such project one needs at least one big room which will initially be on rent.

It will be preferred that only those people will be enrolled as consumers who are conversant in English and either engaged in at least graduate studies or interested in such readings.

There is a plan of increasing this project gradually by including one computer every year and involving two computer literates for scanning and correction annually. By the third year, it will be a project having four computers and eight computer literates. At the same time, there will be an enhance in the output i.e., in the second year, at least 108 books will be scanned and corrected and by third year, its number will enhance up to 144 books.

Result Achieved
It is understood that in the course of three years, we could manage to provide around 325 books which are otherwise neither available nor is thought of being provided by anybody. If this project yields the desirable output, the Society is planning to open a reading room in which the interested readers may come and get the literature at their choice. We are not planning to distribute literature on Composite Discs as, due to its easy access, it could not get the desired value and majority of the persons fail to read the literature which they had taken with some enthusiasm. We are interested in quality and if this quality increases in numbers, there is nothing like that.
Indian Association for the Special Education and Rehabilitation (IASER) was initially established by late Mr. Lal Advani an 83-year-old blind gentleman (who passed away last year) who is considered to be the father of rehabilitation services for the disabled in India.

Background of the two Asha volunteers who would be jointly supervising the project:
Ramesh Kumar Sarin is a visually impaired person in his 50s who has a long experience of working in the social sector, particularly in the blindness area for over 30 years. He is currently working for the Indian Airlines and has just earned his PHD from Jawahar Lal Nehru University (JNU) in political science comparing the policies and programs for the blind in India and South Africa. In the mid 1990s, He took a break from his work for about 9 months to go on a pad yatra (non-stop walk) of 12 states to promote awareness regarding the education of blind children in India. He also holds world record of marathon Braille typing and has spent considerable amount of time in South Africa to examine the education system for the blind children in that country.

The other person, who is going to be involved in supervising this project, is Jagdish (Jags) chander. Jagdish also happens to be blind too. He is a Senior Lecturer (Associate Professor) of Political Science at Hindu College, University of Delhi. From 2001-2005, he was on a long sabbatical from his job, engaged in completing his doctoral degree in Disability Studies from Syracuse University in Syracuse, New York. He is also working on writing the biography of late Mr. Lal Advani the founder of Indian Association for Special Education and Rehabilitation, mentioned above. Jagdish has also been one of the Asha-Syracuse as well as Asha-Special volunteers and has been engaged in the process of raising funds for school for tribal children in the Ukhrul district of Manipur (
). He is in Delhi now and is going to be intensely involved in getting this project implemented. He is also going to be the contact person for this project and can be contacted at
As of May 2007, we are awaiting clearance on the one time FCRA to transfer funds to the project