Esha (www.braillecards.org and www.clabil.org) is an initiative by volunteers to make life better for the blind. We use the word blind because its neutral. There is no disability, challenge or special ability attached to this. We are blind means we cannot see. Period. Just like you are sighted means you can see.
You can access the online library directly at www.braillecards.org/audio.htm
As part of our summer project, we want to create more and more content in Indian languages.
One of the things I really want to do, is make available classics like Black Beauty, Sherlock Holmes etc in Indian languages. This has 2 advantages - these classics are deemed read for most higher education courses, and two, we would really like to make this literature also available to people who don't know English.
So if you know one or more languages, please do some translations of classics for us. We will be very grateful.
On the 10th of April,we launched the Esha Summer Project 2016. We were aiming for a scale we had not done so far.
The summer project this year had about 6 options to choose from - each option had its own lessons and deliverables.
The objective was two fold - first, to benefit from the fresh perspective brought by the interns. The second, and the more important objective, was to expose the youth to the potential of this country through the formal, templatised, CLABIL Outreach Program.
We received 120 applications from various sources, of which about 45 interns were selected to share the summer with us. We also set up a remote collaboration project management office with 3 people - all of whom worked from home. Using simple google documents and online PMO platforms, we worked on managing this project without meeting each other.
Of the 45 interns, 7 are working on the CLABIL Outreach Program - in areas like Bareily, Devangere, Bangalore and of course, the NCR region.
A lot more volunteers are working on recording audio content in languages like Hindi, English, Malyalam, Tamil, Telugu etc.
We had one volunteer who interned with us on social media management and was able to meet social media metrics for Twitter,m Facebook and also SEO. This was a rare chance when a student got independent responsibility for Social Media metrics.
We also had 2 interns who expressed an interest in creating communication videos, but they could not think of storyboards for their communication.
The best thing about the project was that the project management office was also staffed by the interns. One of the assignments was the PMO.
Some of the students would like to do COP near their houses once the schools reopen in July, and some have asked to continue to work with Esha after the internship is over.
Next year, we want to introduce a tighter selection process so that post selection dropouts are low. What we did well was to keep a tight feedback and followup loop so that all interns were able to keep on track with their progress.
This was our first experience of dealing with interns at this scale, and we now feel confident that we will be able to manage a larger scale next year.