Friday, October 30, 2015

Suno Books - The Mobile App Partner to CLABIL

Today, we want to talk about a totally awesome partnership - .
Suno is the mobile app partner that makes it possible for you to listen to our audio content on your Android Device.
On the google Play Store, the app is here:….
Here is what you must know about Suno, and why we have partnered with them:
1. The app is created by a very talented professional on his personal time.
2. The app only provides copyright free content in Hindi from our library. Very compliant.
3. The app is free. For the CLABIL content, you will never have to see ads.
4. The app does not store your personal data, or even personally identifiable data. It doesn't sell any information to anyone. This is a labour of love and a realisation of a personal idea.
5. The app is improving all the time!!
Do us a favour please - download the app, do try it out, and do share your feedback with us. Every time you do, we can make the app better and more user friendly. smile emoticon

Monday, October 26, 2015

Impact of Audio Files as a learning intervention - Kick Starting the Exploratory Research @ SAI BHOOMI !!!

SAI Bhoomi is a not for profit school in Kanhai Village. Bhoomi caters to the educational needs of the students of Kanhai village. The main objective of Bhoomi is to educate the children to a level where they learn to read, write, be more self-aware and understand the importance of education free of cost. The subjects that are taught in the school are Hindi, English and Math. Apart from this the students are taught poems, shown movies and are made to present them to the class. There are 20 kids aged between 5 to 8 and a teacher to tutor them.

We visited the school as part of our attempt to understand the impact of the audio files in teaching, as a learning intervention. There are different learning styles visual, auditory & kinesthetic. Can these audio files also be used by the non-blind? Does it make an impact? We wanted to find answers for them. We played some basic poetry and moral story contents from CLABIL that were new to the kids. After listening to the audio they were able to recite it back.

Our observations were i) the kids found it amusing & interesting to learn from different voices in which they were recorded ii) schools like BHOOMI that have classes with kids of different age groups & grasping power the audios can be repeated till everyone is on track iii) Teachers can also widen their knowledge on various topics by listening to relevant audios.

We will kick start our exploratory research by recording responses of children from different age groups and schools. The impact of audio files as a learning intervention & content requirements for CLABIL can be studied.

Esha @ SAI BHOOMI, Kanhai Village

Read Fest @ SOIL, Gurgaon – October 2015 during Daanotsav

Read Fest has always been a much awaited event at SOIL. The posters, mailers and flyers set the festive mood. Interesting and useful content for the CLABIL Knowledge repository were gathered parallely by the organizing team. Rooms were blocked to ensure noiseless recording. The Read Fest Organizer’s guide was a perfect and handy checklist!!!

As the adage goes “Reading is the most special of therapies for ending a tension-filled day”, we had active participation from the students and faculty of SOIL throughout the day. Few of them carried their own material. Shahid was our creative contributor he recited Rahim’s Dohe so beautifully and also recorded few of his own poems. I should say Nitin, Thamba and Saurabh became kids while reading Thenali Raman stories and Short stories for children with pun and energy. Nidhi and Srinidhi with their calm and soothing voice recorded the ‘Benefits of breathing’, ‘Surya Namaskar’ and ‘On-meditation’.  The Star of the Day was Soumyadeep no one could stop him from finishing Vivekananda’s “A glimpse into his Life”. We had contents for kids, poetry for adults, general awareness topics, Wellness related material, Travel guides, Leadership and self-help books recorded for the day. Works of Osho, Robin Sharma and Richard Templar can now be enjoyed from CLABIL.

Read Fest brought back fresh memories for few of our participants who read short stories for children. Nitin who has always loved the bed-time stories from his mother, now enjoyed reading one for the kids. Soumyadeep who always wanted to read Swami Vivekananda’s work grabbed the opportunity and finished the book for us. He was concerned if the audio would inspire someone someday and he would be happy to hear that. Srinidhi who read the goodness of Yoga brought her own material with meditation mantras that she follows. Arpita and Priyanka read the Lonely Planet’s travel book on hill stations in India. The delivery and the narration would make one visualize the locality through the audio. Pallavi Tandon faculty of SOIL who participates every year said its fascinating to know your voice could make a difference in a good way and appreciated the efforts of Esha for adding knowledge through our voices. On the whole adding 120 files to CLABIL in new and diverse areas was a pat on the back.

Osho's brilliant work now in CLABIL

Poems and Short stories being recorded

Students & Faculty from SOIL enjoying the Read Fest

SOIL getting ready for Readfest'15

Friday, October 23, 2015

CLABIL Catalog updated!

AND WE DID IT!! After a month of painstakingly listening to hundreds of files, correcting cataloguing errors, removing links to partner files that don't work any more.. the catalog is now updated!! 4916 files currently available...

Here are the main changes that you will observe immediately:
1. Inclusive Planet links removed - all 190 of them.
2. New content added - from our most recent Read Fests, Summer Projects etc.
3. Folders have been rationalised - 2 spellings for the same thing.
4. Hundreds of file entries corrected.
5. Some content has been deleted - Current Affairs that are no longer current, propaganda items etc.

In future, we will be very sensitive to propaganda items. Am sorry, but we have learnt to watch out as a result of this cleanup.

Do check out, the newly refreshed, cleaned up!


Sunday, October 11, 2015

More Jazzed up Braille Cards and a Brand New Catalog for CLABIL

Phew! We have been very very busy at Esha.

We jazzed up our festive braille cards - Thank You, Season's Greetings, Happy Diwali.. we went from Golden Bows to pink bouquet effect (tiny ones) and we even used decorations based on quilling!

Given that the cards are white and tend to stain easily, we put each one in its own packaging to ensure it stays white and nice.

On Tuesday, a friend will give us some space to display the cards, and we hope that we will be able to sell some. You can wish us luck.

On CLABIL, we have been cleaning up a LOT. Almost 25 hours of cleaning up later, we are only halfway through. Some content has been deleted for the first time, a lot of Read Fest content needs to be catalogued and added. We have added a new column - Size, so that the user can decide whether the file is too large for them to download on their current connection. This is based on user feedback we have got multiple times. Thank you to everyone who gave us this gyaan.

With a heavy heart, we acknowledge the fact that our much loved crowdsharing  platform for the VI community -, will never go back to being what it was. For a long time now, I have hoped that the folks at the center are able to resolve the hosting issues, but apparently, that is not to be.

Accordingly, we will be removing the partner content from inclusive and all files from that url will now be removed. It is a very sad decision, but we have waited really long.

We hope that someone revives some day and restores it to its former glory.

That's it at our end.. for now. Pictures later.

Thursday, October 8, 2015

SOIL Read Fest 2015 - 120 files in a day!

Today, the students and faculty and volunteers at SOIL got together to create 120 audio files for the online audio library  - in English, Tamil, and Hindi.

While the volunteers will share their own experience by tomorrow, a quick look at the languages and the top volunteers today! More Power to you folks.


Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Requirement Gathering for Daanotsav

Dear All

For our online audio library in Indian languages -, we are running a series of Read Fests in various organisations during Daanotsav.

During a Read Fest, employees of organisations create audio content which can then be accessed directly and downloaded by anyone without signup or payment. You don't need a screenreader because the content is already in audio. A simple mp3 player or a phone can be used to listen anytime anywhere.
The content is available in 16 Indian languages and we are constantly trying to add to the library.
If you need any content in any Indian language (or English), Please do share your requirements with us at before 07 October 2015.

Thursday, October 1, 2015

Saying Happy Birthday to your friends in style!

A friend, who is also a young mother, asked for 15 cards with "Happy Birthday" written on them.

As we delivered, I asked her, out of idle curiosity, how she plans to use the ones with "Happy Birthday" on them.

Her response was so original that I took her permission to share it here.

When the child goes to birthday parties, they need a tag to put on the birthday present. She would like to use the card to say "Happy Birthday" on top of the gift, and just write her child's name under that braille.

What a great way to make your present stand out!

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

How to Conduct a Blind Walk

A lot of the Friends of Esha have been happy to hear of the Blind Walk, and have indicated a desire to conduct Blind Walks near their own homes.

So, we created this document on "How to Conduct a Blind Walk" .

How to Conduct a Blind Walk- Organizer’s Guide


This document is for all the friends of Esha who want to organise a Blind Walk. This is a complete organiser’s guide, and we hope this will help in conducting the Walk successfully.

Blind Walk

Blind walk is an activity conducted for people to experience the challenges faced by visually impaired people. The primary purpose of this event is to raise public awareness about the difficulties and help create a sense of responsibility in the society.

The events are staged in the centre of densely crowded places or parks or malls to gain attention to the general public in the area. It is imminent need for the people to look forward to help disabled people in the light of any adversary they face in their day to day activities. Blind walk helps create an impact by making them feel and experience the same.

Requirement Gathering

People Required:

i)                    Participants: 4 to 10 participants. Advised to start with fewer people during the initial blind walk and adding more participants subsequently.

ii)                   Volunteers:  At least  1 volunteer per two participants

Time Required:

One Week

Organising – Preparatory work

1.       Decide the venue for conducting the walk. The walk should be conducted preferably in a busy public place to spread awareness among the public for the need of equal inclusive environment for the disabled and for the participants to get the actual realistic experience

2.       If needed, permission has to be taken from the concerned authorities to conduct the blind walk in the public place

3.       Make arrangements for Canes (sticks used by the blind for support) to identify obstacles during the walk and for direction

4.       Identify volunteers and instruct them with the below guidelines:

i)                    The volunteers should not help or give directions to the participants during the walk but just guide them  when there is an obstacle

ii)                   Volunteers should not guide more than two participants at a time during the walk

iii)                 Volunteers should ensure safety during the activity

5.       Gather participants for the walk and instruct them with the guidelines as well. It is important the participants are aware of the purpose of the walk, which they will certainly experience

Organising - One day before

1.       It is important to conduct a site visit of the selected place for the walk prior to the day of the event and ensure that the location of event is secure

2.       During the site visit it is important to fix the start and end points of the brief walk such that it is of 100mts to 200mts distance with less possible obstacle on the path

3.       Make sure the availability of the volunteers and the participants, importantly if sufficient volunteers are available to guide the participants

4.       Ensure sufficient canes are available, one per participant

5.       Make arrangement for a person to record the walk and the participant’s experience at the end of the walk

Organising - On the day of Blind Walk

1.       Reach the venue a little ahead of the others with the volunteers

2.       Make sure the spot is reasonably busy for the public to see the event and suitable for the walk

3.       The canes and camera to record are the only properties required, ensure you have them ready in good condition

4.       When the volunteers arrive, guide them to the decided blind walk start point. Explain the following to them:

1.       Show the end point to finish the walk

2.       Introduce them to their respective volunteers who will closely walk with them

3.       Inform them the volunteers will not give them any directions, will just protect them from obstacles coming on their way.

4.       Let them know the walk will give them a completely new experience

5.       Ask them to close their eyes once they start walking, and keep their eyes closed till they reach the destination and their volunteer instructs to open them.

6.       The volunteer will intervene if there is a physical danger to the participant (e.g., the participant is moving towards a staircase, or towards a high traffic area or a wall) .

5.       The purpose of the event should be declared to the crowd observing the event. Interested public can also be allowed to experience the walk.

Organising - Follow up Activities

1.       Please record the experience of the participants after the walk. You will be amazed by different experiences and realizations from the participants. Preferably a clear video/audio recording.

2.       Please email their experiences to  which will be posted in Esha’s blog for a wider reach.

3.       If you want to upload the video/audio recordings and images of the walk and the experience, kindly share it in our Facebook page ‘Esha – People for the Blind’