Home >politics >policy >Govt releases special Braille atlas

New Delhi: The central government has released a special edition of an atlas in English Braille, in a push for the resources available for visually impaired students.

The atlas includes 20 maps on physical, socio-economic and cultural aspects of the country such as river systems, natural vegetation, metropolitan cities, roads and railways, food crops and cash crops, demography, based on the 2011 census.

The Braille atlas, prepared by the National Atlas and Thematic Mapping Organisation (NATMO), was released by minister for science and technology and earth sciences Harsh Vardhan on Friday.

“There has been many years of effort that has gone into making this atlas. These are advanced maps and have greater detailing along with better content. The Braille atlas currently available are very basic and for school students only. Technology advancement in this area has also led for these maps to be available for easy reading," Harsh Vardhan said at the launch of the atlas.

The government plans to make the atlas available free of cost to students and other visually impaired persons across the country.

“At present this book costs Rs600. We have made an effort to make such atlases cost effective and will work to further reduce the cost. Our department will now work to make this available free of cost for schools for visually impaired and other societies to ensure that everyone benefits from it," he said.

NATMO is an agency of applied geo-spatial technology, thematic mapping and atlas cartography under the ministry of science and technology, which is responsible for preparing different thematic maps and atlases.

The agency is also working on state specific braille atlases for Assam, Gujarat, Telangana and Andhra Pradesh in English and the state’s local language.

According to Census 2011, there are five million visually impaired persons in the country.

Keval Krishnan, a class 10 visually impaired student, going through the atlas said, “This gives more details than what is available to us."

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