Mumbai: Strengthening its commitment towards creating a brighter, more inclusive future for the visually impaired – Amway India, one of the country’s leading FMCG Direct Selling companies, launches the Tactile Science Primer. This initiative introduces a one-of-a-kind, comprehensive collection of Tactile Diagrams on ‘Learning Science’ with a focus on food and nutrition. The book was released as part of a joint initiative between Amway India and its NGO partner, Saksham, working together to provide opportunities for the differently-abled and visually impaired individuals to learn and grow.
Marking the International Day of Persons with Disabilities, a webinar was organised on the Accessibility of Health Services for persons with visual impairment. The book ‘Tactile Science Primer’ was unveiled at the webinar by Dr Vinod Kumar Paul, Member of NITI Aayog who leads Health, Nutrition & HRD Vertical at NITI Aayog along with Rajat Banerji, Vice President, Corporate Affairs at Amway India, and DipendraManocha, Co-Founder, Saksham.
A recent survey indicated that more than 80% of students in India in the age group of 16-17 years are interested in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) careers. Through this initiative, Amway India promotes inclusivity in the education of visually impaired children by providing them with a platform to strengthen their science aptitude in the foundation years. Targeting primary school students, the Tactile Science Primer is a collection of more than 150 tactile graphics diagrams on science that cover topics, such as the human body, food and nutrition, plants, animals, and environment among others. These diagrams will assist students in understanding concepts faster, increasing their knowledge level, and increasing their confidence in pursuing STEM education in the future.
Speaking about the launch, Gursharan Cheema, Sr. Vice President, North & South Region, Amway India, said, “With nearly 240 million children with disabilities worldwide, one in every ten children with disabilities is experiencing deprivation across several indicators of well-being, including health, education, and protection. People with disabilities are less likely to have access to health care, education, employment, and community participation, even under normal circumstances. Keeping this in mind, we, at Amway, in partnership with Saksham, have been working on an integrated approach to building a society inclusive of people with visual impairment. Through the launch of Tactile Science Primer, we introduce a one-of-a-kind book, which is a comprehensive compilation of tactile diagrams with braille text focused on ‘Learning Science’ with topics like the human body, health, food, and nutrition, among others, targeting the primary school students. We are thankful to our NGO partner Saksham for supporting our vision of helping people live better and healthier lives.”
Speaking on the occasion, Dipendra Manocha, Co-Founder, Saksham, said, “Access to health services and infrastructure has become one of the most essential issues in light of the pandemic and is linked to our chances to survive. The government is doing a lot to not only ensure availability but also its affordability for the economically challenged. It is extremely essential to provide reasonable accommodations for persons with disabilities in the services and infrastructure. This event is to identify the gaps and possible solutions to assist policymakers in this process.”
The book is developed as a part of the effort to strengthen disability inclusion efforts in India in education. This kind of initiative will allow the visually impaired students to ease the compounding challenges that underlie them while opting for STEM subjects due to a lack of knowledge and the unavailability or inadequacy of teacher training skills and resources. Students from India and other countries, regardless of school or education board, will be able to use this book. The copies of the books are also made available to each of 15 partner NGOs of Amway to ensure the books are accessible to the beneficiaries of Amway’s National Project for the Visually impaired.
The International Day of Persons with Disabilities was proclaimed in 1992 by United Nations General Assembly resolution 47/3, which aims to promote the rights and well-being of persons with disabilities in all spheres of society and development and to increase awareness of the situation of persons with disabilities in every aspect of political, social, economic, and cultural life.