NAB also aims to provide placements and job opportunities to visually impaired adults all over India.
1947 is recognized by Indians as a watershed year for the nation. It was in this year that the country gained independence and could finally decide its own destiny, standing on its own two feet. As if in a parallel development, there was a similar thought process in the mind of Mr Mangulal J Shah, who wanted to raise the education and skills of India’s visually challenged persons (VCP’s) so high that they would no longer be dependent on others for their self-sufficiency.
Thus the history of the National Association for the Blind, India too begins in 1947 itself. This seed was then watered for the first time in Bombay by Mr B. G. Kher, the then Premier of Bombay Province, who moved a resolution at the First All India Conference for the Blind, and helped establish NAB, India.
The National Association for the Blind works with visually impaired people of all age groups, and runs a number of programs that range from providing Integrated education and Vocational Training to visually impaired children and adults, to designing certifiable courses and recording audiobooks.
NAB aims to re-integrate visually impaired people into regular life and has gone on to touch the lives of thousands of people.
NAB Sir J. Duggan Braille Press:
The year 2018-2019 was eventful for the Braille Press as the previous years. The Braille Press altogether produced 2, 07,416 Braille volumes running into 90, 36,677 Braille pages during the year. These included Marathi, Hindi and English Medium textbooks from Std. I to Std. XII prescribed in the state of Maharashtra, and general books in Marathi, Hindi and English. The Braille Press received the sponsored orders for production and free distribution of several general books to institutions for the blind in India thereby making available a wide range of Braille literature for the blind.
We have printed and distributed 1500 copies of our annual calendar in Hindi – NAB Dindarshika 2019 free of cost to blind individuals, which is in great demand amongst our Blind readers.
40 Schools/Institutions for the Blind in Maharashtra were supplied Text Books from Std. I to Std XII (Marathi Medium). 2125 blind children benefited through these Schools. 4486 copies (7178 vol.) & 739 (1182 Vol.) of Textbooks were supplied to Schools for the Blind and Blind Individuals. 180 copies (288 Vol.) of English Medium Textbooks from Std. I to Std XII were supplied to blind students who approached us.
Supplied 8239 copies (13689 Vol.) running into 16,39,086 pages of Marathi Medium Braille Textbooks of Std I to Std VIII to Maharashtra Prathamik Shikshan Parishad and delivered to 44 Zilla Parishads and 13 Municipal Corporation Offices of various Districts in the state of Maharashtra meant for Visually Impaired children studying under Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan.
NAB Client Service Department:
The client Service Department offers direct and timely assistance to VI persons for sorting out their day to day issues.
1. Counseling, guidance and referral for rehabilitation (including shelter for destitute blind persons) vocational training and education of the visually impaired.
2. Teaching mobility & personal care.
3. Availing travel concessions and tax exemption.
4. Sale/free distribution of aids.
5. Financial assistance for diverse needs.
6. Mobilizing resources for self-employment.
7. Information dissemination about various facilities available through the Government and other voluntary organizations.
8. Advocacy for rights protection.
NAB Department of Education:
1. Integrated Education
The Department continued to lay emphasis on promoting Integrated Education of visually impaired children, particularly in rural areas. During the year, the Department supported and monitored Integrated Education Programme in 7 States. The programme benefited 878 students (517 boys and 361 girls). These children were residing in 471 villages/towns and studying in 604 regular schools. The students were assisted by 82 special teachers.
2. National Programme for Home-Based Services to MDVI Children
Under this project 10 units catering to 62 children (41 boys and 21 girls) at 5 locations viz., NAB Odisha State Branch, Bhubaneswar and Society for Environmental Development & Voluntary Action (SEVA), Nayagarh (Odisha), Shikshit Yuba Sewa Samiti, Basti; R.B.R. Viklang Kalyankari Sewa.
3. Human Resource Development Programme
The Department organised different training programmes for Itinerant Teachers, Parents, Volunteers, Teachers from regular schools and visually impaired children in different parts of the country. There were 194 participants.
4. Services for Children with Visual and Additional Disabilities
During 2018-2019, 103 children (65 Boys + 38 Girls) in the age group of 1 to 32 years from the City of Mumbai and its neighbouring areas, received services under the home-based service programme of the Department. Many of the children also attended the Centres at Thane, Jogeshwari, Sion and Vile Parle.
5. Braille Kits
In the year 2018-19, the Department distributed 383 Braille Kits to school going blind children from 5 States. These kits were assembled at the Department and were presented as a gift. Out of these 295, Braille kits were distributed from the donations given by Fermenta Biotech Limited, Thane and others were made available from other donors.
National Award – The Employment Department of NAB, India has so far placed more than 10,000 Visually Impaired Persons in different fields.
Considering this yeoman service, the Government of India has conferred National Award as ‘Best Placement Agency’ to NAB, India on 3rd December 2018.
The Annual Late Mrs. Piloo Dorab Khambatta Memorial Award Function was held on March 14, 2019 at NAB R.M. Alpaiwalla Committee Room.
The recipient of the Award was as follows:
The NAB Louis Braille Memorial Research Centre & Publications Committee (LBMRC) brought out three issues of magazine “Blind Welfare,” April 2018, August – December 2018. The Centre also published three issues of the “NABINDIA” Newsletter and the Annual Report of NAB, India for the year 2017-2018.
Library and Information: The library collection of books stood at 5,811. Persons doing research in the field of visual impairment take advantage of the Research Centre.
Currently, NAB India is seeking fundraising for setting up various departments and expanding its services for the visually impaired all over India.
For more information, visit https://nabindia.org