KATHMANDU (The Kathmandu Post/ANN) – The floor of the National Braille Library for the Blind is filled with books. Big, thick volumes of books in Braille are littered all over while steel racks are carelessly stacked with more.
“These all are donated books. Different international organisations donate books to us almost every alternate month,” said librarian Ambika Shrestha.
The National Braille Library hosts over 25,000 English language books from a host of genres – from natural sciences to popular fiction books, such as the Harry Potter series to classics such as Shakespeare’s Othello to Henrik Ibsen’s A Doll’s House. But what it fails to see is visitors.
“When we first started the library, a lot of people came,” said Shrestha. “Even until a year ago, we used to have at least half a dozen visitors every day. The library used to open on Saturdays and even during public holidays. But nobody comes anymore. They say they can’t read the books kept here,” said Shrestha.
Sunita Thapa, a visually impaired lawyer, said as this is the only library for the visually impaired, its presence is needed. However, as the library hosts only English books, many readers are unable to understand the texts available.