Published: 27th August 2018
Almost blinded in an accident, this Telangana IAS coach has developed a UPSC coaching book in Braille and audio formats
This Telangana man came up with a collation, in Braille and audio format, of the gist and the salient points of all the 30 to 35 books available for the examination
When Akella Raghavendra met with an accident that almost made him lose his eyesight forever, he underwent a slice of the struggle a visually impaired person goes through. Sixteen years late, a successful civil services examination coach, Raghavendra has come up with comprehensive study material in Braille and audio format for UPSC preparation.
Even though he has been working on the idea since 2009, the work started only two years ago. "Once I reached a position where I had ample capital and the resources, I started training visually impaired students for the UPSC examination," said Raghavendra. "The main project started in October 2016 with an aim to provide the entire study material for visually and physically impaired people in Braille and audio format."
Teaching the visually-impaired: Raghavendra is not yet happy as he feels his initiative should reach more people
They completed transforming the material into these formats in February 2018. Raghavendra explains that his material is not like the audiobooks already available for civil service aspirants, "My study material is a collation of the gist and the salient points of all the 30 to 35 books available for the examination. Dumping all the material is not my motto," he explained.
Even though 80 to 100 students have already availed the audio material and more are getting their hands on the Braille content, Raghavendra is not happy as he feels this should reach more people. "India has over two crore differently-abled individuals out of which 10% are graduates. If you were to consider the population of Telangana and Andhra Pradesh together, there are around 1 lakh visually-challenged and 70,000 other differently-abled graduates. Every one of them is eligible for a government job, but the biggest impediment in their way is the non-availability of study material in a format that they would find easy to understand."
Over the past few years, the percentage of physically challenged graduates applying for competitive examinations has increased. Sagar and Sivaprakash are government officials, both visually impaired, are now preparing for the civil service examination and stay with me at Hyderabad
According to the coach, the government has made efforts to help visually challenged officials but should take more initiatives and print documents in Braille so that it's easier for these officers to perform their duties. "These people are facing three problems, they do not have proper assistance to read out to them, mobility is another problem, so is getting a good scribe to write their examinations or daily office needs," said the teacher who has coached more than 350 successful civil service aspirants.
Reach Out: http://www.akellaraghavendra.com/
You can find the comprehensive study material here: http://online-ias.com/