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The Right to Read Campaign - Chennai

by Radha Rao last modified Aug 31, 2011 10:45 AM
A nationwide Right to Read campaign began with road shows in the four metro cities of India and was then carried on in other cities. The events comprised of presentations, debates and demonstrations, book reading sessions and setting up of stalls where various accessibility tools were demonstrated. The first road show was held in Loyola College, Chennai on 26th September, 2009.

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Sep 26, 2009
from 04:00 AM to 08:00 AM


Loyla College,Chennai

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The Problem Statement

Millions of Indians are unable to read printed material due to disabilities. Technologies are in place  which can help them read printed matter if the material gets converted into  alternate formats such as large print, audio, Braille or  other electronic formats. Whereas the Constitution of India declares “right to read”  a fundamental right, the provisions of the Indian Copyright Act, 1957 does not permit  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 to which India is a signatory to specifically requires it to amend its copyright laws for the benefit of persons with disabilities and  make available information and materials to persons with disabilities on an equal basis as others.

Publishers too do not make books available in accessible formats as a result of which less than 0.5 per cent of books are available in accessible formats in India. As a result, persons with print impairments get excluded from the education system and this has a big impact on their career choices. Further, there are no national policies or action plans to ensure that publications in accessible formats in all Indian languages are made available to persons with print disabilities all over the country.

Objectives of the Right to Read Campaign

  •  To accelerate change in copyright law;
  • To raise public awareness on the issue; and
  • 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 for the Campaign

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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