BLINK, the social campaign of Shaastra 2020, continues Shaastra's rich legacy of grassroots social impact and is aimed at empowering the visually impaired and enabling them to achieve their full potential. The initiative, which began in July 2020, has currently impacted over 200 visually impaired students in and around Chennai.
• Data suggests that Braille literacy among blind kids has fallen significantly as students are hampered by a lack of interactive tools and teaching aids.
• Research indicates that visually challenged people often have low self-esteem, a major barrier towards them living a successful and fulfilling life.
• The visually challenged find it difficult to integrate with the rest of society, thus negatively impacting their higher education and career.
• The visually challenged are hampered by a lack of career guidance and a lack of awareness regarding opportunities and this perpetuates the deadly cycle.Our Path to Change
3D printed interactive puzzles (TacToys)
for primary and secondary school students to make Braille learning fun and interactive. We have finished printing 2 sets of toys (52 toys)
and have received overwhelmingly positive feedback from our partners in Chennai. A revised and well-rounded pedagogy
for the visually impaired. Personality Development and dramatics workshops
have been conducted for primary and secondary school students across Chennai. Plans are in place to conduct a 2-day career development workshop
during Shaastra to spread awareness about the career opportunities available to the visually impaired. Request for alumni support
We are planning to scale up TacToys
and take it to schools around Tamil Nadu
as well as other states in South India
. We are planning to leverage Shaastra's strong network of Campus Ambassadors for the same. Our target is to print 40 sets of toys within the next 6 months
by outsourcing 3D printing. Our longer team target is to set up 3D printers in schools and NGOs across TN
to enable self-sufficiency.
(It costs close to Rs 5000 per set (26 toys) if we outsource production)
We require support to implement our revised pedagogy
for the visually impaired in other parts of Tamil Nadu. This will require us to collaborate with local NGOs and visit schools in these areas. An exhibition
of assistive technology for the blind
is planned during Shaastra. Vocational training and up-skilling
for visually impaired adults to improve their confidence and enable them to lead an independent life.
Garnering the encouragement of IIT Madras' illustrious alumni through both monetary and non-monetary support
would be a major boost to our campaign's future prospects and would also serve as a motivation to our team.
Please find a detailed proposal here
and executive summary here
of our campaign and feel free to contact me on the details mentioned below regarding any concerns or suggestions.
We hope you'd like to join us in this small endeavour of ours for a better future.Budget Estimate and how the money will be used:
|Scaling up of TacToys
||Reaching out to blind schools across Tamil Nadu. Would require at least 40 more sets of these toys
|Vocational Training and upskilling adults
||Offering training to visually impaired adults through NGO associations
|An exhibition of assistive technology for the visually impaired
||An initiative that will result in further research work in this field, potentially leading to major breakthroughs in assistive technology
||In order to reach out to more people through the initiative, we would need support from the media. In this regard, we are planning to reach out to artists and media houses, conduct awareness activities and PR stunts.