ABU(Senior group) Excellent Work
“ How did Braille transform my life? ”
India Tej Singh Tak(Male)

Braille has transformed not only mine but the life of all the visually impaired persons around the world. The difference of audio and video has been made felt to the blind person through Braille. Due to this they have become educated and hence self dependent. As per my life’s experience, I have divided my life into eight parts to express the transformation due to Braille.
  1. Education of Braille:
  2. I experienced Braille first in School for the blind at Amritsar in 1956. There I learned Braille properly which enlightened my life from darkness. I was exposed to knowledge fully. I lost my eyesight in 1953 due to the impact of chickenpox when I was eight years old before going to Amritsar. The three years of darkness was transformed to brightness by Braille.
  3. Self study of Basic Granths (important books):
  4. I got Junior Research Fellowship in 1973. As the research department of music is very famous in Banaras Hindu University, I went to Varanasi for research. There I fortunately got married to a lady who was blind for ten years and later regained her eyesight through an operation. She could read and write both Braille and Devnagari scripts.
    The Department in which I was doing research laid stress on reading basic granths. Mostly the granths are in Sanskrit. Before going to Varanasi I had studied the granths in segregation but not in original. As I had ordinary knowledge of Sanskrit, it was not possible for me to understand the granths. My wife transcribed all the necessary granths including the “Sangit Ratnakar” in Braille which sorted out my problem. I studied the granths vigorously resulting into deep understanding of the subject. Later on my seven books were published which was only due to self studying of the basic books various times in Braille.
  5. Learning and remembering the Scripture Shrimad Bhagwad Geeta:
  6. The beginning of 1981 was a setback year for me, which hurt me deeply. To relieve myself from this pain, I started reading “Shrimad Bhagwad Geeta”. Bhatkhande Music College in which I was working gave me free time for an hour during which I started learning three Shlokas (hymns) per day. This resulted into learning of the entire “Shrimad Bhagwad Geeta” by heart until the end of 1981. This learning cycle took me away from worldly pleasures towards spirituality.
  7. Refinement in language through Braille:
  8. Studying through Braille is constantly improving my language. As I belong to a remote village of a non -Hindi region, initially I had immense problem in understanding even small sentences and hence, these had to be mugged up. I still remember looking into Braille for spellings of even small words. Later on this problem was sorted out though still if I have some doubt in the spelling of any word, I refer to my Braille books.
  9. Reception of new thoughts:
  10. While reading books often new thoughts are located which change my life majorly sometimes. These could be health or improving upon bad habits. Such few thoughts I use in my books as well. One of them is illustrated here: In the Indian Ayurvedic concept “pindotpatti prakaran of Sangit Ratnakar”(Shlokas from 120-138) ten energy centres of human body are described according to Hathyoga. All these energy centres (lotus) do not have equal petals. Entire good and bad habits are dependent on these petals. Apart from “Adhaar energy center”, other centres at naval and below are of low level mental status namely hatred, jealousy, crudeness, distrust etc. Centers above the naval are mentioned with mental strength, affection, devotion, satisfaction etc. In between the eyebrows is the “Som energy center” in which are inscribed 16 petals corresponding to forgiveness, help, simplicity, patience etc. Dependent upon these we could assess the level of our spirit. If lower level is found then attempts should be made to rise above. Reception of new thoughts also comes through various other sources like electronic media and print media, but easy comprehension is possible only when read through Braille many times.
  11. Self-dependent due to Braille:
  12. I got educated through Braille hence was appointed as a teacher which gave me financial independence. Apart from this, I can perform many tasks through Braille with much greater ease like maintaining telephone diary, managing bank and post office accounts, giving marks to students while taking examinations, making notes for learning and teaching in classroom etc. I feel independent while performing these functions on my own.
  13. From literate to Doctorate:
  14. Only Braille has assisted me from the initial stage of schooling to post-graduation and later to Doctorate. Lastly, the publication of my books and my becoming a writer was possible only through Braille.
  15. Feeling of closeness and distance:
  16. Hearing from some medium or through a reader and self reading through Braille gives the same difference as that of seeing and hearing on one’s own. Reading through Braille gives clarity of the subject-matter fully which is not possible through hearing. Self-learning gives more confidence than dependent learning.
    Hence it can be concluded that the changes in my life from beginning till today are all definitely brought about by the contribution of Braille.

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