Right to Read, Now in Mumbai
The third phase of the 'Right to Read' campaign in India held in Mumbai was coordinated by the Xavier’s Resource Centre for the Visually Challenged (XRCVC). The Mumbai Phase of the Right to Read Campaign was launched on 1st January 2010 and ran till the 27th of January 2010.
India has over 70 million persons who are unable to read printed materials and published information due to some forms of physical, cognitive or sensory disabilities. This includes the blind, visually impaired, persons with learning disabilities such as dyslexia and persons who are unable to use their hands or the upper part of their body and hence, cannot hold books. For these persons, information has to be converted into formats such as Braille, large print, audio, electronic and other formats which they can access using assistive technologies.
The ‘Right to Read' campaign was started for such persons. The campaign is part of a global initiative by the World Blind Union (WBU), Sightsavers International (SSI) and other such organizations. In India it is being spearheaded by the Centre for Internet and Society (CIS), Daisy Forum of India (DFI), Inclusive Planet and Xavier's Resource Centre for the Visually Challenged (XRCVC).
The campaign seeks to accelerate changes in copyright law, raise public awareness on the issue of access to reading for the print-impaired and gather Indian support for the Treaty for the Blind proposed by the World Blind Union at the World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO). The XRCVC as part of its work in the field of creating an accessible and inclusive society and promoting print access has campaigned for this cause mainly in Mumbai and Western India. This report focuses on the genesis and outcome of the Mumbai chapter of the global Right to Read campaign.