The Right to Read Campaign

Posted by Radha Rao at Sep 23, 2009 06:30 PM |
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The nationwide Right to Read campaign will begin with road shows in four metros and will then be taken up in different cities. There will be half day events with publicity. Events shall comprise presentations, debates and demonstrations, book reading sessions and stalls where various accessibility tools will be demonstrated. The first roadshow is to be held at Loyola College on 26th September.

Problem Statement

Millions of Indians are unable to read printed material due to disabilities. There are technologies available which can help them read print if the material is converted into an alternate format such as large print, audio, Braille or any electronic format. While the Indian constitution guarantees the “right to read” as a fundamental right, the copyright regime does not permit the conversion of books into accessible formats for the benefit of persons with print impairment, as a result of which a “book famine” is created. International conventions that India is a party to specifically require India to amend its copyright laws for the benefit of persons with disabilities and to make available information and material to persons with disabilities on an equal basis as others. Publishers also do not make books available in accessible formats as a result of which less than 0.5% of books are available in accessible formats in India. As a result persons with print impairments get excluded from the education system and it impacts their career choices.
In addition to this, there are no national Policies or action plan to ensure that publications in accessible formats in all Indian languages are available to persons with print disabilities all over the country.

Book Stack

Objectives of the Right to Read Campaign

To accelerate change in copyright law
To raise public awareness on the issue
To gather Indian support for the Treaty for the Blind proposed by the World Blind Union at the World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO).
Your Support:

No campaign is complete without the endorsement of leaders in the field. We invite you to lend your name and support to this campaign in large numbers and help us make this campaign a success.  If you wish to do so, please e-mail Nirmita Narasimhan: [email protected].

Declaration on the Right to Read


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