Braille Book corner inaugurated at National Library

Zubair Qureshi

The first-ever Braille Book corner named as “Gosha-i-Noor” was inaugurated at National Library of Pakistan (NLP) on Thursday during a ceremony, marking the birthday celebrations week of Louis Braille-the inventor of Braille system for visually impaired persons.
Adviser to Prime Minister on National History and Literary Heritage (NH&LH), Irfan Siddiqui inaugurated the book corner and interacted with the visually impaired students of Al-Maktoom Special Education Center for Visually Handicapped Children during book reading session. Irfan Siddiqui said access to knowledge is the right of every human being and we will make all out efforts to ensure provision of this right to all the people especially persons with disabilities to protect them from any sense of deprivation.
He said any kind of disability cannot stop the courageous and committed people from moving forward in their lives and achieving their cherished goals. Irfan Siddiqui said fingers are known to writing only but reading with the help of fingers is an additional ability of the visually impaired persons which we cannot find in the ordinary people.
The blind persons have been rendering their contributions in different fields of life however they must be provided maximum facilities and opportunities to acquire education and conduct research, he asserted. For nearly 200 years, braille code has enabled people with vision impairments around the world to get education and this braille book corner is an effort to make variety of books accessible to the visually impaired students. Irfan Siddiqui said the availability of braille books at NLP will facilitate blind persons through utilizing their educational needs. He said initially more than 60 braille books including copies of Holy Quran have been placed in this corner while the number of books will be increased gradually. He said computers with latest relevant software and other necessary material will be placed in the corner by the end of this financial year. It is very unfortunate that NLP was not given any funds for upgrading its facilities since the last three decades, he lamented.
However, in the current budget, an amount of Rs 115 million has been allocated for NLP which is being utilized for digitization of rare books and upgrading its facilities on modern lines, he added. Irfan Siddiqui thanked Managing Director, Inam ul Haq Javed for provision of braille books to NLP. Speaking on the occasion, First blind Journalist of Pakistan, Syed Sardar Ahmad Pirzada said inauguration of Braille Book Corner in the month of January has a great relevance as Louis Braille (January 4, 1809 Jan 6, 1852) who was a French educator and inventor of Braille was born in this month. He thanked Advisor to Prime Minister, Irfan Siddiqui for establishing book corner for visually impaired persons and reviving the educational and literary departments under his kind supervision.
Student of Al-Makhtoom Special Education Center, Naeem Rashid, addressing the audience, thanked the Adviser to Prime Minister, Irfan Siddiqui for establishing this reading facility for visually impaired students.