NAB Sir Jamshedji Duggan Braille Press
Conscious about significance of the two most vital aspects of education for the blind – reading and writing – NAB (India) made a humble beginning in 1958 by starting a Braille Press in a small garage at Jogeshwari, Mumbai with machinery received in donation from the American Foundation for Overseas Blind. To begin with, the Braille Press brought out few general books, magazines and school textbooks. "Bapuji ki Jhankian" – a life sketch of Mahatma Gandhi – was the first book published by the Press.
In 1963, the Government of India designated the Braille Press as the Regional Braille Press for the Western Region. Soon enough, besides textbooks, periodicals and general books, the Braille Press took up printing of dictionaries, biographies/autobiographies of historical figures and religious classics like Ramayan and Bhagwad Gita. During these years, M/s. Kanti and Shanti Shah made immense contribution to Braille production at the Press.
Sometime in mid-sixties, the Braille Press started its
Tactile Graphics Unit
with the help of a thermoform duplicator received in gift from the Vocational Rehabilitation Administration, U.S. Govt. Some unique creations of this Unit include: the Braille Atlas, illustrated books on acupressure and human reproduction and a booklet titled “Chitra Manjusha” containing embossed images of flowers, animals, birds, etc., to facilitate concept development in blind learners.
In 1984, the Press was relocated at NAB (India) headquarters at Worli Seaface, Mumbai and was renamed
NAB Sir Jamshedji Duggan Braille Press
, in 1986.
In January 1990 the
Shobhi El-Ejel Memorial Braille Library
started functioning under the aegis of the Braille Press. Currently, a number of members make use of this library having a collection of over 1,300 books/periodicals.
In 1994, a Computerized Braille Production Unit was initiated by installing a Norwegian computerized Braille embosser acquired with a munificent donation received from the Diwaliben Mohanlal Mehta Charitable Trust, Mumbai and the Indian community in Japan. This unit is known as
NAB Jitendra Mafatlal Mehta Computerized Braille Production Centre
With two conventional presses – Krause Automatic Press and Platon hand-operated Press; one computerized Braille Plate Embossing Machine – Puma VI and Computerized Embossers – Braillo 400 – S and Index 4 Waves Pro, the NAB Braille Press has today emerged as one of the largest Braille production units in the country.
The Braille Press prints textbooks of all subjects – including Math and Science – for English and Marathi medium students of Class I to XII in Maharashtra. We are proud to say, the Maharastra Government has assigned us the task of supplying textbooks for blind students under the Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan. In the past too, we have printed textbooks for the States of Andhra Pradesh, Delhi, Gujarat, Karnataka and Uttar Pradesh. In addition, blind students pursuing higher education get many of their books, notes, reference materials etc., converted in Braille, through the Braille Press.
Besides academic books, the Braille Press also publishes general literature – fiction and non-fiction – in five languages – Marathi, Hindi, English, Gujarati and Sanskrit. Besides, some classics have been printed and some religious texts are also made available to readers. For the past several years, the Braille Press has been publishing in Hindi, the popular calendar-cum-almanac “Kal Nirnay”, which is supplied to over 1,500 blind individuals and institutions for the blind, all over India.
Some of our most recent publications include the Raagbodh (the entire syllabus of the Akhil Bharatiya Gandharva Mahavidyalay) in seven volumes; the Oxford English to Hindi Dictionary in nine volumes and Hindi to English Dictionary in 13 volumes. Complimentary copies of these publications have been given cost-free to about 400 institutions for the blind, throughout India.
Literature printed at the Braille Press is made available to the blind at highly subsidized rates.
For its significant contribution in the field of production and distribution of reading material in Braille on diverse subjects, the Braille Press was conferred the
AICB Anne & Arne J. Husveg Braille Literacy Promotion Award 2006
for largest Braille production during 2005-2006.
How you can help
You can help in: data entry of documents in English and other Indian languages, even if you do not know Braille; scanning and editing material for Braille conversion; comparing print text with Braille text for rectifying errors.