18 August 2023
Netra Foundation, a non-profit organization, launched ‘Computer Science in Braille’ , a set of three books for visually impaired computer science students of class XII at the Institute for the Blind, Sector-26, Chandigarh. Dr. Jatinder Kaur, Principal, Guru Gobind Singh College for Women, Sector 26, Chandigarh and Sister Shanta Fernandes, Principal Carmel Convent School, Chandigarh graced the occasion and launched the books along with Dr. J.S. Jayara, Principal Institute for the Blind, Sector-26, Chandigarh.
Co-Author of ‘Computer Science in Braille’ Ms. Harpreet Malvai, who is a Computer science teacher at Carmel Convent School, Chandigarh said, “Even though countless visually impaired students appear for the CBSE Class 12 Computer Science (CS) Board Exam each year, to this date, most resources available for learning computer science are visual and are catered towards sighted students. No textbook in Computer Science in Braille is available, even at a national level. I am sure that the books launched shall fill in the gap to quite an extent.”
Sharanya Jain who is the founder of Netra Foundation and Co-author of the books said, “I am so proud that ‘Computer Science in Braille’ is India’s first book in Braille for helping blind students prepare for the CS class XII board exams. This is my second project for promoting students with disabilities in STEM-Science Technology Engineering and Mathematics. My first book, ‘Programming Taught in Braille’ was also the first book of its kind in India.”
It is noteworthy that Netra Foundation works for the betterment and upliftment of blind children through various activities such as free eye check-up camps, recording audiobooks for visually impaired students, organising eye donation awareness campaigns, etc. Netra’s founder Sharanya Jain was a writer for blind children’s computer science board exam which is when she realised the necessity for more accessible educational resources for all. She shared her views with her computer science teacher and they both came up with the three-part braille textbook series.
It is pertinent to mention that Ms. Malvai has been teaching Computer Science for more than two decades in some of the top schools in India. She has written various books on Computer science for class XI and XII students. She has been felicitated by the CBSE for her contribution to education through outreach programmes.
Mr. B.D. Sharma, Secretary of the Society for the Care of the Blind, applauded the efforts of the authors and Netra Foundation for working towards this noble cause.