Launch of India’s first radio channel for the visually impaired “Radio Aksh”
The country’s first ever radio channel for the visually impaired named “Radio Aksh” has been launched in Nagpur, with the Blind Relief Association Nagpur and Samdrushti Kshamata Vikas Avam Anusandhan Mandal (Saksham) serving as pioneers of the concept which will help the visually impaired – people with disabilities have seamless access to educational resources and audiobooks.
This concept was created to replace the audiobooks provided by Samdrushti Kshamata Vikas Avam Anusandhan Mandal to the visually impaired on their digital devices, access to which was cut off due to the COVID-19 pandemic due to travel restrictions.
Educational resources covering a variety of topics are made available through this platform on digital platforms owned by visually impaired people, who can access this vast bank of information from anywhere because unlike FM radio and AM, Internet radio technology is used, which knows no geographical limitations.
A dedicated team of trained volunteers, mostly women, help create content for the radio channel, which can be broadcast to visually impaired people across India and the world. The complex and carefully executed processes of sifting through large amounts of content, recording, editing audio, and making corrections don’t dampen productivity, and a sense of bondage drives the entire team.
Channel coordinator and Samdrushti Kshamata Vikas member Avam Anusandhan Mandal Shirish Darvekar told ANI, “In recent years, visually impaired people have been coming to us and having their audiobooks made by us on their devices. But COVID-19 put a stop to this it affected their learning so we had to think of a standby arrangement we learned about the launch of internet radio in india and got in touch with a company that was making software for it Although our requirements were unique to them, they promised to cooperate.This may be the first internet radio for the visually impaired.
“Unlike FM and AM, internet radio has no geographical boundaries. The content is pre-recorded. We each have a presenter for various topics discussed on the radio. We have a team of 20 people, mostly housewives. They are trained and know their job well. No one is paid, all have a feeling of servitude,” he added.
Darvekar said that their channel has been limited but received overwhelming response from people and said that the service will be more widespread in the coming days and informed that the channel is available on play store and via Zeno Radio on Apple devices.
“In just two to four days, we have about 161 listeners. That paints a very encouraging picture,” he added.
One of the volunteers working for the channel said, “Doing such things for the visually impaired brings me joy. They can study from home through Radio Aksh. I have free time for this and I devote an hour or two to it at noon every day. for that.”
One of the channel’s beneficiaries pointed out to ANI that the radio channel is a great advantage because books in braille are not always available.
“Now we will have more information and our studies will become easier. It feels like attending lessons in a classroom. It is a great initiative for the visually impaired,” he added .