Jail Inmates To Record Audio Books For Visually Impaired

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Gandhinagar: An audio book recording centre was inaugurated on Monday inside the Sabarmati Central Jail here wherein inmates having good voice will lend it to record various audio books to be used by visually impaired people across the world.

The recording centre, having six studios, has been established in Gandhi Yard, where Mahatma Gandhi was lodged for a long time during Independence struggle, Gujarat DGP P P Pandey said.

According to him, this centre is perhaps the first in the world wherein prisoners are roped in to record books for the visually impaired.

This centre has been established inside the jail with the support of city-based Blind People’s Association (BPA).

“Prisoners having a good voice and command over Gujarati, Hindi and English languages will be roped into record books.

We have set up six different studios inside the Gandhi yard to carry out the work,” Pandey said after inauguration of the centre.

Jail authorities and BPA have identified 13 prisoners having good voice quality to record books. They will read books given to them by BPA and record the entire book in audio format, Jail Superintendent Sunil Joshi said.

“In the first phase, 13 prisoners have been selected after scrutiny. We will carry out tests in future to induct more such prisoners. BPA will give them honorary compensation for the services they render,” he said.

On the occasion, Executive Secretary of BPA, Bhushan Punani said the audio books will be distributed among the visually impaired in the form of CDs as well as through Internet.

According to Punani, such audio books serve as the alternative for Braille books, which are “very bulky”.

“In 2011, Narendra Modi (when he was state CM) floated the idea of involving prisoners in recoding audio books for blind students. Today, we have realised his dream. Audio books prepared here will help numerous visually impaired citizens of Gujarat and India,” said Punani.

“We will also upload it on Internet, so that people sitting anywhere in the world can access it. We will pay Rs 100 to each inmate for recording one book, which takes around a week’s time. Apart from novels and motivational books, we will also prepare audio files of educational books for students,” he added.

PTI