NEW DELHI: The department of empowerment of persons with disabilities, (DEPwD) on Wednesday launched 'Sugamya Pustakalaya' - an online library for Persons with print disabilities as part of the Accessible India Campaign.
The online library has been created in collaboration with National Institute of Visually Handicapped (NIVH), member organizations of Daisy Forum of India (DFI), Bookshare and powered by TCS Access.
oint Secretary DEPwD, Mukesh Jain informed the audience that there are more than 52 lakhs people with visual impairment (2011 census) and that one of the most important components of the Accessible India campaign is making ICT services accessible for people with disabilities. This online library will focus on collection of all accessible materials from all over the country in single online library system. It will enable each member organisation to provide services to their members and draw on resources of all other organisations of the country. Users will be able to get books anywhere in the country at a single location. The e-library platform will work in collaboration with international agencies such as 'Bookshare' and 'Accessible Books Consortium' to make accessible books from all over the world available to users in India.
At the launch, union minister for Information Technology, Ravi Shankar Prasad said that the launch of this e-library was as step towards realization of the Digital India Campaign and an example of public service through innovative use of IT. Prasad informed that his ministry has already made 400 websites out of a total of 1800 websites accessible.
Speaking on the occasion, minister for social justice and empowerment, Thaawarchand Gehlot said that the "Sugamya Pustakalaya" is a platform that would enable content to be made available to the visually impaired persons.
Human Resources Development minister Prakash Javadekar emphasized on the importance of breaking barriers in knowledge dissemination. He pledged his ministry's support to the e-library initiative and said that HRD Ministry will endeavour to accomplish the task of providing all text books of all boards to users with special needs through this online library.