Lifestyle content in Braille via ‘White Print’

30 Apr,2013

By Ananya Saha

 

Upasana Makati

India is home to 12 million visually impaired people of which 56 lakh are literate. While we do have loads of literature to read, the literate visually impaired people have to depend on audio books, screen-reading software or radio for entertainment. This is the thought that motivated 24-year-old Upasana Makati to launch White Print, an English lifestyle magazine in Braille. The first issue will debut in May.

 

A graduate in Mass Communication, Ms Makati wanted to do something on her own. The home-grown initiative was born to cater to the needs of the visually impaired community and be a source of information and entertainment at the same time. Printed at the National Association for the Blind (NAB) in Mumbai, the monthly magazine will consist of 64 pages and will feature stories about common man, review of audio books, gadgets, travel and hospitality and food related columns. It also comprises information pertaining to politics, art and culture from across the globe.

 

“When one thinks of visually impaired people, we think that their lifestyle must be totally different. But in reality it is not so. When I thought of this magazine, I did a lot of research. It took me eight months to get the title, so I spoke to a lot of visually impaired people. It was very clear that they want such content, but did not have access to it. White Print is an effort to provide the visually impaired community a companion while they are on the go or sitting by the coffee table on a Sunday afternoon. A magazine that is a source of information and entertainment was long over due and we hope we are able to make a difference in even a small way,” Ms Makati stated.

 

Currently, Ms Makati’s team of friends is contributing the articles but the magazine invites young authors to write short stories for it. The articles once received are converted in Braille format at NAB. Priced at Rs 30, the magazine will be circulated throughout the country but will be subscription-driven. NAB will also manage the distribution of the magazine. “The cost of the magazine is less than half of the production of the magazine. I am depending on advertisers, which I hope grow, for revenues. Though very low and subsidized, we also have to pay NAB for its services,” informed Ms Makati who is the founder and publisher of the magazine.

 

The magazine cannot carry the conventional printed advertising. Hence, it does text-heavy advertisements. “We just carried a five-page descriptive advertorial of Raymond’s Spring-Summer collection,” she said, adding, “Grand Hyatt Goa has shared one recipe with us. Since I am a first in this space, a lot of advertisers are enthusiastic about this product. But yes, it is also a challenge getting them on board.” Ms Makati makes it clear that it is not a charity that she is doing, and expects the revenues to grow.

 

White Print has tied up with Radio City for promotions, apart from making individual calls and sending mailers to their database of visually impaired people. The magazine’s first print run will be 500 copies.

 

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One response to “Lifestyle content in Braille via ‘White Print’”

  1. Harikumar Bhatt says:

    Thanks for having a kind heart and good concern for our Visually Challenged brothers and sisters.

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