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Poetic networking on pen drive for the blind

Orkut is in the news again,this time for the right reasons. Kaviteche Gaon (a village of verses),a community of amateur Marathi poets on Orkut...

Written by SiddharthKelkar | Pune |
April 30, 2009 1:36:31 am

Orkut is in the news again,this time for the right reasons. Kaviteche Gaon (a village of verses),a community of amateur Marathi poets on Orkut,has converted social networking into creative networking by coming up with a book of verses exclusively for the blind. Not one the 81 poems,written by 44 members of the community and to be published in Braille,contains any visual expression.

Kaviteche Gaon has been at work for one-and-a-half years and has 186 members,all interested in Marathi poetry,from across the globe. Even the medium of interaction among community members is poetry,though they are not professional artistes. Dr Rahul Deshpande,who initiated the community,said,“We had come up with a book six months ago. We compiled the poetic interaction of our members over a subject related to Mahabharata and converted the book into Braille as a tribute to Nivant Andhamukta Vikasalaya,an NGO working for blind children. But when we performed a live poetry session for these children,we realised that they couldn’t comprehend a beautiful sunset or sparkling blue water. I appealed the members to come up with poems that don’t have any visual expression. To my surprise 222 poems came; these were short-listed to 81.”

The poets recounted interesting experiences. “Some of us went to Nivant Andhamukta Vikasalaya and talked to blind children. We shared a lot of things with them,saw some paintings drawn by them. That helped us understand their world,” said member Santosh Badgujar,an electronics engineer by profession. Some of the poems have been converted into songs as some students said they would rather listen than read. Satyajeet Kelkar and Prashant Kulkarni composed 10 numbers for the album.

“We have composed the songs using atmospheric sounds as blind people can easily relate with them,” said Kelkar. “We have used various forms ranging from jazz to Indian classical music.” Kulkarni said,“We used these different forms of music and maintained the flow.”

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“Already 400 CDs have been sold before the official launch. An industrialist bought some CDs; Rotary Club too helped us,” said Deshpande.

Other members who have contributed through poems and otherwise include ad professional Prajakta Khadilkar,industrialists Avinash and Mahendra Kulkarni,teacher Chaitali Aher,chartered accountant Yogesh Joshi,and Himachal Pradesh-based sanyasi Swami Nischalanand.

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