NAB M. P. Shah All India Talking Book Centre
In 1963 the Talking Book Project – now known as the M. P. Shah All India Talking Book Centre – was initiated by NAB (India) with the help of equipment presented by the Vocational Rehabilitation Administration, Department of Health, Education and Welfare, United States Government. Initially, the Centre recorded magazines; textbooks for college students; and books of general interest – in English, Hindi, Marathi and Gujarati – on reel-to-reel magnetic tape recorders which blind users listened to on huge multi-track players that NAB (India) provided them.
Over the years, as the recording hours increased with rise in demand for audio literature, the Centre started functioning in a more professional manner. In the 70s, the Centre decided to bring about change in the recording technique by switching over to standard cassette recorders and compact cassettes.
Making remarkable progress through the 80s and 90s – both qualitatively and quantitatively – the Centre has emerged as one of the biggest sources of production and distribution of audio material for the blind in India.
Today, the Centre’s three acoustically designed studios where recording is carried out in two shifts churn out books on CDs, in English and Indian languages – Hindi, Marathi and Gujarati. This literature includes novels, classics, biographies, travelogues, short stories, textbooks prescribed by various Education Boards and Universities in Maharashtra and reference books recommended for professional courses and competitive examinations.
Ever since the studios were equipped with digital recording facilities in 2007, books are being recorded directly in digital format. The Library of the Talking Book Centre houses more than 4,575 titles – in English as well as seven Indian languages – which are available for circulation. The Centre maintains two to three copies of each of the general books and multiple copies of textbooks to meet the demands of the students. On an average, around 1500 CDs are circulated all over India, in a month. Some expatriate Indians also solicit our services.
A server computer of 8TB hard drive, with the capacity to hold some 6,000 audio books, was recently installed at the Centre. A member can get these books directly and quickly downloaded to their static devices like mobile phones, pen drives, iPods etc.
The Library charges an admission fee of Rs.10 at the time of enrollment as a member. Around 2,226 members of the Library benefit through this service at a very nominal annual subscription of Rs.50 or life membership of Rs.500. Members also pay a refundable deposit of Rs.30 per CD on recreational literature. Textbooks cost individual members Rs.20 and institutional members Rs.30 per CD.
How you can help us
- If you have a good voice and inflection, you may be interested in volunteering to record at our Studios. Audition tests are scheduled on 1st, 3rd and 5th Saturdays of a month, by prior appointment on Phone – 2495 2913. Recording is carried out in two shifts – 10 am to 1 pm and 2 pm to 5 pm. For recording a general/educational book one needs to visit the Studios at least twice or thrice a week during one of the two shifts.
- You may like to volunteer during your spare time to read or record for our visually challenged students at your home. For this please let us know your contact details and the languages you are fluent in, so that we can share these details with our members, who will get in touch with you directly as and when they need your assistance.
- For those who are residing out of Mumbai and are interested in recording books or doing any other voluntary work for the Visually Challenged, you may contact NAB, India’s Branch in your State. Click here to download State Branches List
- You may also like to offer your precious time for library-related work like data entry, updating the Talking Book CD Catalogue, labeling recorded CDs etc.
- You are welcome to visit the Centre on any working Saturday between 10 am to 4 pm and observe the work being carried out. We are closed on 2nd and 4th Saturdays, Sundays, and days specified in the list Click here to download Holiday List. For further information contact us on Phone: 6683 8639. For address and e-mail Click here