| 28 Oct 2021
Pune CR Vidyavani airs show by and for visually challenged

MUMBAI: The University of Pune's community radio station Vidyavani aired an hour long programme run for, of and by the visually impaired, on 27  June.

The programme, Braille Webradio �Dnyanadrushtiche Saadhak Aamhi' (In pursuit of Knowledge) had students from Jagruti School for Blind Girls, Alandi, and sighted students from Aksharnandan participating.

Satish Navale, who conceptualised the idea of Braille radio, spearheads the Dnyanadrushtiche Saadhak Aamhi' series. This is the first time that a radio programme for the visually-impaired has gone on air,... he says. The aim of this programme is to give visually-impaired students professional training in radio production, writing, presenting and other technical aspects related to the field. Bringing the sighted and visually-impaired together is a way to bridge the gap between the two and help the blind live and develop normally within society, without feeling isolated.... said Navale, himself visually-impaired.
Navale is supported by a team of seven visually-impaired students who learnt radio production and presentation on the job. Though there were more than 60 students present in the studio for the interaction 

Vidyavani's Director Anand Deshmukh says, Some visually impaired students approached me. They wanted to know the working of a radio station especially the technical side. Hence we thought it could be very useful if we could air a programme that is managed by them so that they can learn the workings of a station....

We have presented this maiden episode as an experiment. The radio station has run a recorded programme earlier for the visually impaired, this being their first live show. We want to make visually-impaired students well-versed with every aspect of community radio service," says Deshmukh.

The students interacted with each other on air over music, sports, quiz contests and even grammar. There were primary exercises, though they were entertaining,... explains Deshmukh.

The long-term plan of all those involved in this initiative is to approach All India Radio (AIR) to broadcast programmes of, for and by the visually impaired. "We want to motivate and guide the physically disabled through this radio programme. The visually impaired are the first to be invited to participate in it," said Sanjeev Sonawane, professor and head of the department of education and extension, under which visually impaired students get assistance in Braille.

The next episode of 'Dnyanadrushtiche Saadhak Aamhi' will be a two-hour segment to be aired on September 5, on the occasion of Teacher's Day. "We plan to invite visually-impaired teachers, as well as visually-impaired students for this show," said Navale, who is also planning a special episode to be based and recorded on the Wagah Border in mid-October.