A dictionary of contemporary Tamil will shortly be available in Braille. The work, based on the 2008 Tamil-Tamil-English dictionary brought out by Chennai-based Crea-A, has been published by 25-year-old Indian Association for the Blind (IAB), which is Madurai based.
S.M.A. Jinnah, founder and secretary general of the association, says that 33 differently abled persons, including 20 visually challenged and three orthopaedically challenged persons, were involved in the production of the dictionary.
“We had originally planned to complete the dictionary project in one-and-a-half years. But, we were able to complete it in six months, thanks to active support from all concerned.”
Pointing out that each page of the standard print dictionary will become three pages in the Braille edition, he said totally the dictionary runs to 6,000 pages in 55 volumes.
For proofreading, the visually challenged were employed and the orthopedically challenged for data entry. As of now, it has been planned to produce 40 copies. Cognizant Foundation, the corporate social responsibility (CSR) arm of Cognizant Technology Solutions, has funded the production cost.
The Braille edition of the dictionary will be distributed free of cost to 22 schools each for the visually challenged. The remaining copies will be given to voluntary organisations, which are run by the visually challenged.
Mr. Jinnah says that the Association is also planning to give the dictionary to colleges with at least 25 visually challenged students.