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Essar Foundation’s UNMUKT programme brings an audio-described film ‘screening’ to visually impaired children

Pune, 07 January 2017:  Unmukt is Essar Foundation’s national programme, aimed at outreach and strategic inclusion for the differently abled.  As part of the initiative, the Foundation screened the audio-described version of popular Hindi film, ‘PK’ for 160 children from 3 schools for the visually impaired in the city. The technology of audio-description has been used to customize the film for those who are visually impaired. Audio-description includes a voice-over that describes what transpires on the screen during natural pauses in the audio, and sometimes during dialogue. It also helps fill the gaps where, without the sense of sight, it is difficult to relate to the sounds. This allows a visually-impaired person, whether partially or completely blind, to enjoy a film without being dependent on a sighted person.

 

The screening was organized at Pandit Bhimsen Joshi Kaladalan in association with Pune based Bal Kalyan Sanstha, which works to provide recreational and cultural activities for the differently abled. Essar Foundation has earlier screened audio-described versions of the films ‘3 Idiots’ and ‘Taare Zameen Par’ in the city as well. Throughout the screening, the children hung to every word of the film. They said they really enjoyed the experience.

RV Sridhar, CEO, Essar Steel India Limited, Pune Facility, spoke about the CSR commitment of Essar Steel, “UNMUKT is our attempt at developing a differently-abled-friendly ecosystem which facilitates provision of various services to the visually impaired including entertainment. The audio-described movie screening is an effective tool in enabling a visually impaired person to enjoy a movie in its entirety and is devoid of any additional support.”

Essar Foundation promotes the idea of greater acceptance, inclusion and a disabled-friendly society through initiatives such as Unmukt. The Foundation plans to continue hosting the screening of other films for the visually-impaired in Pune and other Indian cities. This event is a part of national programme of Essar Foundation, which was launched in Gujarat on the occasion of World Sight Day in 2013.