One of the things that upsets me the most is the absence of a reading habit. When you take access to books and general reading away from a child, you are not just removing him/her from books. You are leading them to a lifetime of not having access to information, knowledge and wisdom that is so crucial to the learning process. Learning does not happen with text books alone.
That’s why, at ESHA, one of the focus areas has been to make general reading books available to children. Now, as part of a special project, I am working on making audio books of stories for young children. These books and stories will help not just blind children, but also other children who do not have access to formal schooling, but who still need to be introduced to new ideas and thought. In ancient India, a saint named Vishnu Sharma did it with the Panchatantra. We will do it with stories too. With audio books.
The importance of early intervention cannot be overstated. If a child learns this wisdom at an early age and learns to love general reading, that ensures a lifetime of a reading habit, and more importantly, a sense of “reaching out” for information that goes beyond one’s own curriculum or domain. Without that reaching out, ongoing personal growth is not possible.
Please contribute to this project by donating any audio books that you might have at home or with your organization and that are NOT under copyright. The idea is to create an online resource center from where all organizations, individuals and libraries can freely download books and use. The more we share, the more we all gain. Esha will buy additional server space and will host all these files.
If you are an individual who wants to volunteer, please read detailed instructions on how to record audio books from the comfort of your home – here: https://eshabraille.wordpress.com/2010/05/14/esha-summer-project-for-children/
Basically the idea is 2 fold:
1. To create a central database of audio books from where anyone can download and use. (online)
2. To run early intervention programs in blind schools to inculcate the reading habit. (offline)