Born blind, Nazim religiously visits the only braille book stall at the fair that runs on a very different philosophy
For the past two years, Torikul Islam Nazim, 17, has been travelling from Narayanganj to the Amar Ekushey Book Fair daily to get his hands on a different kind of book.
Born blind, Nazim religiously visits the only braille book stall at the fair that runs on a very different philosophy.
Sporsho Braille Prokashona, established in 2009, lets people come and read all day and offers books for free to the blind.
When people come to their stall seeking information about braille books, they request the visually impaired people to register with them.
This correspondent found him Tuesday morning at the stall fervently reading the new books on offer. “I have read over 20 books in braille. Because there are not many books published for the blind, I love coming here to take advantage of the offer,” Nazim said.
Nazim, whose favourite author is Zafar Iqbal, is a 9 grade student of Somonnito Dristi Protibondhi Shikkha Karjokrom in Narayangonj, spends the whole day at Sporsho’s stall from 3pm to 7:30pm because his school is now closed for HSC exams.
This year, Sporsho has brought out eight books. A Member of Sporsho, Shahajana Sultana, said: “We are not selling any books here. Any visually impaired person can visit our stall to read, but we will provide free books to those who register for an event to be held later at the fair.”
Founder of Sporsho, Nazia Jabeen, said: “We cannot print as many books as we would like because it’s very expensive. One braille page costs the same as three regular pages.
“This is unfortunate because a lot of people are not able to find their favourite authors in braille print.”
She suggested that if every publisher printed at least two books in braille then a lot of people would have greater access to newer authors.
Nazia began working on a braille book, “Chharar Tale Monta Dole,” in 2009. When her book was published and released at the Ekushey Book Fair, she realised the demand for braille books was astounding, and that there was a desperate need for a full-fledged braille publishing house.