Published: 24th October 2019
This visually impaired 10th grader was once a great newsreader who used Braille news prompts!
Though he is visually impaired, his exposure to the news on TV and his natural speaking ability made him a great news reader, though he had to rely entirely on Braille
While watching the news, what grabs your attention in addition to the big events of the day? Of course, it is the news reader’s ability to keep you engrossed throughout and make sure that you don’t blink an eye. Mannerisms and eye contact with the audience is part of their charm. But if you had watched Lotus News a few years back, you would have noticed Sriramanujam T, who read the 5 pm news. But there is a small difference here. Sriramanujam AKA Sriram is visually challenged and reads news using the Braille script!
How did this Class X boy make his way to the newsroom? “When I was in fifth grade at Uliyampalayam Government School, a few people from Lotus News approached the Headmaster of my school. They informed him that they were giving visually challenged people an opportunity to read the news. I was good at public speaking and therefore I got the chance. I ended up working there for three years,” he said proudly. “I used to read nearly 22 news snippets in the half-an-hour session allotted to me,” he added.
Apart from news reading, his other interests include singing and practising yoga
Hailing from a family of farmers in Palani, Sriram is a first-generation student of Ramakrishna Mission, Coimbatore, who is busy preparing for his board exams currently."I have taken a break from reading news currently as I have decided to completely focus on my studies. Once I complete my tenth board exams, I may resume as a newsreader,” Sriram points out.
Sriram’s ‘news reading’ is completely self-taught. Right from childhood, he used to listen to the news on TV all the time. He learnt so many things from the news anchors, including perfect voice modulation (We can attest to this fact because he gave us a mock news-reading session through a phone call that made us wonder whether it was a pre-recorded audio). Talking about how he prepared for every news hour, he says, “They used to give me the script a day before the shoot. This helped me prepare well in advance,” says the Class X student.
Talking more about his future goals, Sriram says that he would love to become a History professor. “I would love to learn more about kings, important wars, dates, etc. Even if I become a professor, I would always continue with news reading as it is my passion,” he says enthusiastically.