Monday, June 17, 2019


I have met so many of my idols - like Ray Charles, Brian Setzer - all these cats that are legendary musicians. If they had said to me, 'Hey man, I'm busy,' it would have crushed my soul.” These lines by Drake Bell (an American Actor) remind us about the intensity of affection he had for Ray Charles.
                    Ray Charles was a popular American songwriter, musician, singer and founder of ‘soul music’. Ray Charles was born on September 23, 1930 to Aretha and Bailey Robinson in Alabama, Georgia. He was born as a normal child but was later diagnosed with glaucoma and was completely blind by the age of seven. Ray lost his vision at a very young age and this made his parents to worry about his future prospects. Ray was sent to the Florida School for Deaf and Blind from 1937 to 1945 where he mastered musical skills.
                    Having shown keen interest in music, he tried to master different types of music. He was a profound lover of jazz but was taught only classical music in his school. He was introduced to jazz and country music via radio. Ray, on Fridays, used to play the piano and sing songs at the South Campus Literary Society. On George Washington’s birthday and Halloween, the black department of school used to arrange a concert and Ray used to participate in it. He eventually formed his own team “ RC Robinson and the Shop boys “ and sang chores of Jingle Bell Boogie in his own way.
                   Ray Charles went further and bestowed the world with his musical talent. His songs were international hit and he is regarded as the best songwriter by many of his contemporaries. Ray Charles was also fondly called as “Brother Ray” by his fellow musicians and friends. Ray is precisely remembered for his fighting ability and ‘never give up’ type attitude. A man who overcame his blindness and produced record breaking songs of all time. “Blind at 7, World famous at 70”, this is how I can sum up his life. Ray Charles has left an unforgettable mark in the field of music that even today, 15 years after his death, his legacy continues.
                  Charles’ career spanned for more than 50 years, and in such an illustrious career, he has inspired many of the budding musicians and songwriters. They say that Music is an art and Like every other art, it needs to be felt. I find it very much true in the case of Ray Charles. Despite being completely blind, he felt the very essence of music from his soul that his soul was his vision.
                  They say when God takes up one of your sense, The Almighty strengthens the other four. These people not only overcame their blindness to achieve their goals but have set an exemplary example before us. Their achievements are of such a level that any layman with all five senses will find it difficult to achieve them. Last but not the least, Be Inspired and Inspire others. Be like Ray Charles.
  • Shreyas J Kadam    
Ref :- Ray Charles (Wikipedia)-
                                            Image courtesy – Wikipedia

Sunday, June 9, 2019

Read Euler: He is our master in everything

Leonhard Euler is regarded as one of the greatest mathematicians to have ever walked on the planet. Euler, as he is popularly known was born on April 15, 1707 in Switzerland. He was not blind by birth but suffered from Visual impairment later in his life. Today, we will understand some of the important achievements from his life and things we need to inherit from this great mathematician.

                    Leonhard Euler was born to Paul Euler and Marguerite Brucker in Basel. His father was a pastor of the Reformed Church while his mother was the daughter of a pastor, thus Euler was raised in a rather religious environment. Euler had two sisters. From his very childhood, Euler’s father taught him Mathematics thus sowing the seeds of interest in his mind. His father’s friend was Johann Bernoulli, a prominent Mathematician and Bernoulli would greatly influence the young Leonhard Euler. Thus, Euler was raised in a religious and influencing environment and this helped him further in his life to a very large extent.
                    Euler, as I said, was not blind by birth but was born as a normal child. He could see as an any average human. Euler suffered a fatal fever in 1735 that nearly took him but he was saved. Unfortunately, he lost in it, his one eye and suffered an infection in his second. He spent last few years of life in complete blindness. He worked for most of his life with one eye. Euler died in 1783, at the age of 76 in St. Petersburg.
                   Euler is credited my many of his contemporaries. He gave some of the most important formulae in the field of pure mathematics. Richard Feynman (20th century American physicist) once said, Our jewel ... one of the most remarkable, almost astounding, formulas in all of mathematics.” The formula was none other than Euler’s Identity formula as we know it today.
                 Euler published many scientific journals, papers, articles and books. Some of the famous ones are ‘Institutiones calculi differentialis’ in 1755 and another one, ‘Institutiones calculi integralis’ during the period 1768–70. These textbooks served as a foundation for understanding concepts of modern calculus. Euler’s knowledge was not only limited to mathematics. He further went to study “The theory of Lunar Motion” which involved the study of motions of the Earth, the Sun and the Moon. He also showed great amount of interest in Physics where he researched on optics and acoustics. He went further ahead to prove Newton’s identities. Fluid Mechanics, one of the most important branch of modern day engineering heavily relies on Euler-Bernoulli’s formula.
                What do we infer from the life of these great men ? Life is meant to be full of hurdles and obstacles. If not with these great men, the world would have been a deprived place. Helen Keler became the first deaf-blind person to secure a Bachelor’s degree in Arts. If it were not the studies of Louis Braille, we would have not got today the Braille System. These great people have taught us the Discipline of Life, this discipline we must inherit. We may not become a prolific mathematician like Leonhard Euler nor we are having great singing talents like Andrea Bocelli. What we have is the Mental Strength, we need to enhance it and imbibe in us the power to excel in our respective fields, no matter what it takes. Life is a platform, showcase your talents at the right place and at the right time. Be inspired and Inspire others.

       Image Source - Wikipedia

Thursday, June 6, 2019



                    These lines by Glenn Schweitzer indeed were written a long time after the death of Sir Louis Braille, but what he meant to say clearly illustrates from the life journey of Louis Braille. Louis Braille, we know him today as the inventor of the ‘Braille system’ of writing used for the blind and the visually impaired, but many of us are not aware of the difficulties which Louis Braille encountered in his life. Today, we will try to unfold some of  his life’s important incidents which proved him as a genius. ( Here Genius is referred in the sense of being successful )
                 Louis Braille was born in Coupvray, a small town about 45 kilometres east of Paris, France on 4th of January, 1809. His father owned a workshop in the town and they had hectares of land and vineyards in the countryside. Louis was born as a normal child and things were pretty normal until he turned three. Louis could just walk by the time. One fine day, he was with his father in their workshop when things turned out worst for the three year old tiny tot. Louis was playing with some of the tools in there to make a hole in a piece of leather with an awl. He was looking closely at the surface and he squeezed the awl hard against the leather little realising that the tool had torn apart the leather and struck him in one of his eyes. His parents rushed him to a local physician and then to a Surgeon in Paris but during those days, as opposed to today, medical sciences were not advanced enough to cure these type of infections, sadly there were no treatments available to heal the infected eye. Louis cried in pain and in two weeks, the infection spread to his second eye likely because of sympathetic ophthalmia.
                      Louis’ life had taken a tragic turn after the incident and he managed to survive the trauma. Louis, 3 at the time, would ask his parents that why there is darkness everywhere, little knowing that he’ll never be able to see his parents and the world again. At the time of Louis, not many schools were available for the blind. His parents decided to send him to the National Institute for the Blind Youth in Paris. Louis with his diligence had impressed his professors and was a bright student then.
                    There was a popular system used at the time of Braille, the Haüy system for the blind. It was a conventional system and accepted by many schools. According to Louis, it was a great foundation method but it lacked the necessary depth and information. The content in these books did not met to its fullest because of the raised letters. Meticulously, Louis decided to invent a new and better method which can overcome the drawbacks of its predecessor. He wanted to bridge the gap in communication between the sighted and the blind. He worked passionately and invented a new system – ‘ The Braille System ’. Although Louis was acknowledged by his peers and professors but his system was not implemented by the university throughout his life. He gained posthumous fame for his system.
                  Louis’ life was full of illnesses. He had witnessed one severe when he was a child and this continued in his adulthood. He had a respiratory illness, it was suspected as tuberculosis when he was forty, the condition worsened and he was forced to quit his position as a teacher. Louis had lived with the illness for 16 years. He worked tirelessly for the blind, he had passed many sleepless nights before he invented his system and finally on the 6th day of January, 1852 barely two days after his 43rd birthday, Louis counted his last breath due to the respiratory illness. Long time he battled it but lastly he lost it. He was a warrior and a true fighter. Louis’ life may have been short but the things he have done will be the guiding source of light for the future generations. Long live Louis Braille.
Now, I leave it on you ? Would you call him a ‘Genius ?’. Be like Louis. Be inspired and inspire others.
  • Shreyas J Kadam
Ref : Louis Braille – Wikipedia , Image courtesy


Monday, June 3, 2019

Tour De Vision covered in Hindustan

On Feb 24th, Esha ran its 5th and final Tour De Vision. This was an annual cycling event that used to focus on public space accessibility and also raise funds for the operational expenses of Esha all year round.

As is usual, the theater group of NAB Center for Women performed at the event.

The event was covered by Hindustan, Delhi and Gurgaon editions, on Feb 25th, 2019.

Theater troupe of NAB Center for Women, Hauz Khas, performing at the event

Good News India on DD mentions Esha's onine library

Good News India is a feature on Doordarshan that only talks about good stuff.

In a recent episode, it covered Connected - Women for Women - a community that works to connect women to each other, and focuses on issues related to women.

Esha's online audio library was mentioned in the clip. The founder of Esha was felicitated at this event for her children's newspaper, and she took the time to speak about the online audio library of Esha. That clip was covered. Here is the video.

Saturday, June 1, 2019

Counselling center in Bangalore - Arpita Helpline

The Arpita Helpline was started on 27 May 2019 in Bangalore to provide free telephone counselling and face-to-face counselling to those who are in emotional distress and who may be feeling suicidal.
Telephone No.: 080 40503700
Timings: 10.00 a.m. - 1.00 p.m. ...
Days: Monday - Saturday

For Face-to-Face Counselling please call and make an appointment before coming.
Please share this information with your family, friends and colleagues at work so that those who are in need of help can reach out to us.