Yesterday I started volunteering with Saksham Seva. I will be creating English audio books for the blind in India, being the voice, editing them and adding sound effects etc. Hopefully I can create some awesome audio books after my training is finished, the first book I am working on is a children’s story about a little Indian girl. There are quite a few Hindi words in it, so I have to work on my pronunciation for those (and find out what they mean!).
Saksham Seva not only has a audiobook creation centre, but also runs many projects to support the blind and partially sighted. The center is translating Marathi and Hindi books into braille, which has to be done manually unlike Latin script (our A B C’s) which can be generated in seconds, just by scanning the page. This work is carried out primarily by housewives and retired people.
The premise also holds a blind school, a hostel for blind women, a facility for squint correction and a cornea donation programme, giving people the gift of sight. It’s really a fantastic place with a happy environment.
If you saw my post yesterday, you would have read that I was a little disapointed that I didn’t witness Dahi Handi. Dahi Handi is the Maharashtrian tradition of making a human pyramid to break a clay pot full of buttermilk, reenacting some of Lord Krishna’s mischievous childhood behaviour.
Once I left the audio book center, I was so happy to see that the students of the blind school were dancing and playing Dahi Handi. I got to see it after all.
The human pyramid fell several times, they were just perfecting their technique. Each time the pyramid fell, undefeated they’d brush themselves off and start dance to the music playing. Let’s just say, they danced often. Once they were danced out, the boys would then regroup and try again.
There were so many failed attempts that one of the teachers decided to lower the pot, another teacher didn’t want it lowered and kept sneeking away to pull it up higher again. Some more Lord Krishna mischief.
After many falls, they did it! Buttermilk went absolutely everywhere, one boy’s face was completely covered, and he wasn’t even in the pyramid! Everyone had a great time, all were laughing and dancing so joyously, even the boy with a mask of buttermilk had a huge grin on his face.
I am so happy to be able to be involved in such a great charity, go to http://sakshamseva.org/ to read more about their amazing work.