Jalandhar, September 22
Ever wondered how the visually impaired people feel when they miss out on important silent scenes in a film, lose interest and then curse themselves for having decided to go to a theatre for a bit of entertainment in their lives.NGO Saksham has come to the aid of such persons and has adapted about 15 popular movies by adding narrations of such silent links in the movie. It is set to screen the first, free screening of such audio-described movie ‘Gandhi’ on the occasion of Gandhi Jayanti in the auditorium of Mehr Chand Polytechnic here on October 2. Students from various institutes for the blind have been sent across invites for the show.Shares Deepika, running the NGO from HMV College campus here, “Ever since movie Black was released in 2005-06, I had in my mind that I would work on making adaptations in movies for the visually impaired like me. It has been so irritating going for a movie show and not being able to understand what’s going on especially at the climax stage. I have to whisper into the ears of people on my left and right sides asking them what’s going on. It is fine with them once or twice but when I keep nudging them, even my closest of friends feel disturbed”.But it was not that easy. “A prior approval had to be taken from the producers and directors for such a conversion of format. Once all official formalities are through, the teams have to get to work which is quite laborious. They have to watch repeated shows of the film to absorb the gist. They then begin writing scripts and getting the approvals done. Then the studio work. We have two studios here at HMV College and Mehr Chand Polytechnic for doing the recordings. Then comes the editing which is laborious and time consuming. Finally, we do the CD writing”.Deepika shows the collection of about 15 CDs into which narrations have been added. These include Tare Zameen Par, 3 Idiots, Stanley ka Dabba, Kabhi pass Kabhi fail, Karamati Coat and Hanuman. Deepika adds, “Most of the movies we are adapting are children movies. Visually impaired kids have very limited scope of entertainment. We just cannot force education upon them without making sure some fun element in their lives, especially since they tend to learn a lot from such movies”.Coming to the cost factor, Deepika said, “The expense incurred in making any movie audio-described comes between Rs 60,000 to Rs 70,000. We have to arrange sponsorship for that. We are also doing it on choice given to us on order. The CDs of such movies are being sold out for just Rs 25 each to the visually impaired persons on demand made to us via a call on 8437692797 or mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.”
The NGO has earlier developed talking books wherein the syllabus books of Punjab School Education Board and those of BA and MA level college books have been converted into CDs by way of reading out chapters in studio and recording them. The NGO has been daily getting orders of such books. Deepika’s visually impaired husband Prem Sagar, serving as music lecturer at HMV College, too is a part of the NGO and assists her in the project.