REMEMBERING LOUIS BRAILLE AND HELEN KELLER ON 4th JAN, WORLD BRAILLE DAY (WBD) –DR. CHOPRA
“The most pathetic person is someone who has sight but no VISION”-Helen Keller
This day is celebrated globally to spread awareness of significance of BRAILLE as a means of communication in the absolute recognition and realisation of the human rights for our visually impaired fellow beings.
The first World Braille Day (WBD) was celebrated on January 4, 2019. This year the World Blind Union will collaborate with the remaining world and celebrate WBD on 4th January and this will be the third consecutive year since it was officially fixed by the Un General Assembly as a day to raise awareness about this system of reading and writing by touch.
BRAILLE is a tactile system of reading and writing used by the visually impaired. It is named after the French educator LOUIS BRAILLE (1809 to 1852).
Actually LOUIS BRAILLE was the inventor of this system which remains virtually unaltered till date, and is known the world over as Braille. It is not a language but a unique way of reading and writing a language. In this the characters are represented by an arrangement of raised dots that can be felt with a finger. By it many languages can be written or read.
HELEN KELLER….the beacon, needs neither any introduction nor elaboration. She was born in Tuscumbia in the USA in 1880.At the age of 18 months she was attacked by a mysterious disease which left her deaf and blind. The affliction shut her off from the entire world but she waged a war against all odds and won the battle slowly, steadily with the help of her parents, experts and an amazing tutor named as Anne Sullivan. Anne, herself was initially visually impaired and only twenty years old when she took the charge of Helen as an instructor.
Being very intelligent and diligent Helen proved to be a very enthusiastic and bright pupil. After mastering the manual alphabet she did her best in attaining perfection in BRAILLE and became a voracious reader. During her academic career she had brief stints (as a student) at various prestigious institutes of the world,viz . Perkins institute for the blind, Wright-Humason school for the deaf, Horace Mann school for the deaf and Cambridge school for young ladies.
In 1904 she graduated with honours from Radcliffe College and during her graduation only she wrote her autobiography ‘THE STORY OF MY LIFE’, which is indeed a treasure trove of inspiration and her ingenuity.
(Photo Credits Amazon &
She committed her adult life to social activism. She worked for differently abled till her death. She was decorated with several awards (OSCAR award for her story…..a documentary movie of her life, GOLD MEDAL of the NATIONAL INSTITUTE OF SOCIAL SCIENCE,ORDER OF THE SOUTHERN CROSS,ORDER OF GOLDEN HEART ,GOLD MEDAL OF MERIT, etc.).
Winston Churchill called her “the most remarkable woman of the 20th century”. This embodiment of great vision left for her heavenly abode in 1968.
What a joy it is to emulate her perseverance, labour and success !
(Dr.Sunil Chopra,Ludhiana-India. +91 9815574644)