Tatsat Chronicle Magazine

Radio Aksh, India’s First Radio Channel for Visually Impaired, Unveiled

The channel is available on Play Store and via Zeno Radio on Apple devices.
April 18, 2022
Radio Aksh

Radio Aksh, India’s first-ever radio channel for the visually impaired, has been launched in Nagpur, reported ANI.

The channel will provide educational resources and audiobooks covering a variety of subjects. A dedicated team of trained volunteers, mostly women, help in the creation of content for the radio channel, which can be streamed to the visually impaired across the world. The entire team carries out the complex, carefully-performed processes of going through large amounts of content, recording, sound editing and making corrections.

The channel has been launched in collaboration with the Blind Relief Association Nagpur and Samdrushti Kshamata Vikas Avam Anusandhan Mandal (Saksham), which together have pioneered the concept to help the visually-impaired gain seamless access to education resources and audiobooks.

The concept was created as a substitute for audiobooks provided by Saksham to the visually impaired on their digital devices. Access to educational resources was cut off because of the COVID-19 pandemic and resulting lockdowns.

The visually-impaired people can now access this vast bank of information from anywhere as unlike the FM and AM radio, the technology of Internet Radio is used that has no geographical limitations.

Shirish Darvekar, the coordinator of the channel and a member of Saksham, “For the last few years, visually impaired people used to come to us and get their audiobooks made by us on their devices. But COVID-19 put this to a halt. It affected their learning so we had to think of a stand-by arrangement. We got to know of launch of Internet Radio in India and we got in contact with a company making software for it. Though our requirements were unique to them, they promised cooperation. This is perhaps the first Internet Radio for the visually impaired.”

The content is pre-recorded. There is a presenter each for various subjects covered on the radio. The team has 20 people, mostly women who are housewives, and no one is paid, added Darvekar.

The channel is available on Play Store and via Zeno Radio on Apple devices.

One of the beneficiaries of the channel shared with ANI that the radio channel serves as a great advantage as books in Braille scripts are not always available.