KFB Braille Press, Thiruvananthapuram

KFB is running a Braille Press at its Head Quarters, near Law College Junction, Thiruvananthapuram. KFB started this Braille Press in 1986 and it is functioning with the support of Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment, Govt. of India, and Department of General Education, Govt. of Kerala. Text books and other books for the visually impaired are printed here in braille. All books are distributing to the students free of cost. This Press provides employment to 7 persons including 2 visually impaired persons. All schools for the blind are receiving and using braille books from this Braille Press in the State of Kerala. History: A Braille Press to print text books for school children and other books for general reading was a dire need in the State. In 18975 K.F.B approached the Rotary Club of Trivandrum for assistance to establish Braille Press. Dr. P.Sukumaran and Shri. C.P.N Nair were the President and Secretary of the Club. With their help K.F.B got financial assistance to the extent of Rs. 1,00,000 from the Royal Family of Travancore. K.F.B decided to name the Braille Press as Shri. Karthika Thirunal Shashtyabdapoorthy Memorial Braille Press. In the same year we submitted an application to Govt. of India, Ministry of Welfare for purchase of machinery. It was sanctioned in 1979. At first the Ministry was not in favour of sanctioning the Press as there was a Regional Braille Press at Madras. But we continued our untiring effort with the kind patronage and support of Shri. C. Achutha Menon, the then Chief Minister who sent several D.O letters to Prof. Nuril Hassan, then Minister for Education and Social Welfare. Shri. C.K. Chandrappan M.P raised the issue in Parliament. He also arranged and attended a meeting of the General Secretary and Honorary Treasurer (Shri. Georgekutty Kareparambil and Adv. A.M.Mathew) with the Hon’ble Union Minister at New Delhi on 20th March 1976. The support extended to the Federation by Shri. R.Ramachandran Nair I.A.S, Director of Public Instruction, Shri. N.Viswanathan, Director of State Institute of Education, Shri.V.N.Raghava Panicker, Director of Social Welfare and Shri. P.O Varghese, Special Officer for the Handicapped in getting the project sanctioned by Ministry in 1979 needs special mention. The visit of Shri. Saran Singh, the Secretary to Govt. of India, Department of Social Welfare on 14th March 1979 to 1979 to assess the status, capacity and activities of K.F.B was a turning point not only of this project but also in the onward march of this Federation. The Braille Press equipments were imported from West Germany in 1981. Necessary import license and customs clearance certificate was obtained from the Ministry of Finance , Govt. of India, thanks to the kind intervention of late Smt. Indira Gandhi, then Prime Minister of India. Heart and Hand for the Handicapped U.S.A, Volunteers in Service to Education in India USA, and Round Table Club, Trivandrum have also extended financial assistances to purchase equipments for the press. Installation of the equipments was delayed till the completion of K.F.B Headquarters building at Trivandrum, in 1985. The Braille Press was inaugurated on 25th March 1986 by Shri. T.M.Jacob, Hon’ble Minister for Education. Recurring Grant for the Braille Press was sanctioned from the Ministry of Welfare from 1988-89 and the State Department of Education sanctioned 50% of the recurring expenses from 1990-91. The Press is printing text books for school children in the 12 schools for the visually impaired. Almost all the books upto 7th standard have been printed and distributed. Books for high school classes are under printing. Out of 6 employees, 2 are visually impaired.