Conscious about significance of the two most vital aspects of education for the blind – reading and writing – NAB (India) made a humble beginning in 1958 by starting a Braille Press in a small garage at Jogeshwari, Mumbai with machinery received in donation from the American Foundation for Overseas Blind. To begin with, the Braille Press brought out few general books, magazines and school textbooks. “Bapuji ki Jhankian” – a life sketch of Mahatma Gandhi – was the first book published by the Press.
In 1963, the Government of India designated the Braille Press as the Regional Braille Press for the Western Region. Soon enough, besides textbooks, periodicals and general books, the Braille Press took up printing of dictionaries, biographies/autobiographies of historical figures and religious classics like Ramayan, and Bhagwad Gita. During these years, M/s. Kanti and Shanti Shah made immense contribution to Braille production at the Press.In 1983, the Press was relocated at NAB (India) headquarters at Worli Seaface, Mumbai and was renamed NAB Sir Jamshedji Duggan Braille Press, in 1986.
Sometime in mid-sixties, the Braille Press started its Tactile Graphics Unit with the help of a thermoform duplicator received in gift from the Vocational Rehabilitation Administration, U.S. Govt. Some unique creations of this Unit include: the Braille Atlas, illustrated books on acupressure and human reproduction and a booklet titled “Chitra Manjusha” containing embossed images of flowers, animals, birds, etc., to facilitate concept development in blind learners.
In 1984, the Press was relocated at NAB (India) headquarters at Worli Seaface, Mumbai and was renamed NAB Sir Jamshedji Duggan Braille Press in 1986.
In January 1990 the Shobhi El-Ejel Memorial Braille Library started functioning under the aegis of the Braille Press. Currently, a number of members make use of this library having a collection of over 1,500 books/periodicals.
In 1994, a Computerized Braille Production Unit was initiated by installing a Norwegian computerized Braille embosser acquired with a munificent donation received from the Diwaliben Mohanlal Mehta Charitable Trust, Mumbai and the Indian community in Japan. This unit is known as—NAB Jitendra Mafatlal Mehta Computerized Braille Production Centre. From 2016 onwards the NAB Braille Press switched on towards making the Braille Embossing work totally on electronic production of Braille books and the old devices such as Platen machines were stopped as they need lot of manpower and maintenance also. We have installed high Speed Braille Embosser – Braillo 650 SW in December 2016 with the support received from Central Government of India under its Central Sector Scheme “Support for Establishment/Modernization/Capacity Augmentation of Braille Presses” and soon after in April 2017, we have procured one more Braillo 650 SW with the generous donation from Ingram Micro India Pvt. Ltd and Rotary Club of Bombay Powai, that was the start of new era of electronic braille embossing in National Association for the Blind, India.
We have yet again procured one high Speed Braille Embosser – Braillo 650 SW2 in September 2021 with the support received from Central Government of India under its Central Sector Scheme “Support for Establishment/Modernization/Capacity Augmentation of Braille Presses
With three computerized high speed Braille embossers, namely one Braillo 650SW2 and two Braillo 650SW, one each of Braillo 440SW upgraded and Braillo 400S, with other infrastructure machineries catering to the needs of visually impaired students/adults, the NAB Braille Press has today emerged as one of the largest Braille production units in the country printing approximately 1 crore pages per year.
The Refreshable Displays are being regularly used by our proof readers for copy holding and self-correction of soft copies of Braille books produced at the Braille Press. Braille Paper Print-outs are no longer used in the aforesaid process.
Earlier, after the first round of proof reading (copy holding), the proof readers used to self-read a fresh copy of the book, mark the mistakes with the pencil and then sit with the data entry operators to revisit the markings and correct the mistakes. With the advent of Refreshable Braille Displays, self-reading and correction can be done simultaneously by the Visually Impaired proof readers without the assistance of the data entry operator, which saves the labour cost for the Braille Press along with paper.
The Braille Press prints textbooks of all subjects – including Math and Science – for English and Marathi medium students of Class I to XII in Maharashtra. We are proud to say, the Maharashtra Government has assigned us the task of supplying textbooks for blind students under the Samagra Shiksha Abhiyan. In the past too, we have printed textbooks for the States of Andhra Pradesh, Delhi, Gujarat, Karnataka and Uttar Pradesh. In addition, blind students pursuing higher education get many of their books, notes, and reference materials etc., converted in Braille, through the Braille Press.
Besides academic books, the Braille Press also publishes general literature – fiction and non-fiction – in five languages – Marathi, Hindi, English, Gujarati and Sanskrit. Besides, some classics have been printed and some religious texts are also made available to readers. For the past several years, the Braille Press has been publishing in Hindi, the popular calendar “NAB Dindarshika”, which is in great demand amongst the visually impaired persons and is supplied to over 1,500 blind individuals and institutions for the blind, all over India.
Some of our most recent publications include the Raagbodh (the entire syllabus of the Akhil Bharatiya Gandharva Mahavidyalay) in seven volumes; the Oxford English to Hindi Dictionary in nine volumes and Hindi to English Dictionary in 13 volumes. Complimentary copies of these publications have been given cost-free to about 400 institutions for the blind, throughout India.
Literature printed at the Braille Press is made available to the blind at highly subsidized rates.
Reliance Drishti and Deepshika are the Hindi magazines and Blind Welfare and White Print are the English magazines that the Press prints regularly. Around 4000 blind individuals/institutions for the Blind are receiving these magazines. These magazines are supplied free of cost or at very minimal price. The subscription fee for these magazines are as under”
Reliance Dristhi (Hindi)– free of cost (sponsored by Reliance Foundation) – Fortnightly.
Deepshika (Hindi)– – Quarterly – Rs.30/- per annum (women Issues)
Blind Welfare (English) – Three issues in a year – Rs.120/- per annum.
White Print (Engish) – Editor- Upasana Makati
Vingyan Bharati – a Science Magazine
Some of the recent publications include Shrimad Bhagwat Gita by Swami Radhanandaji from Texas USA in Sanskrit, word by word Hindi meaning and Hindi translation, the Path of Silence, etc. The NAB Braille Press have brought out the Ramcharitmanas by Tulsidas in nine volumes, namely Nauhaan Parayan to complete Akhand Ramayan Path. The Press also initiated the printing of religious books like Geeta, Quran, Dnyaneshwari, Tukaram Gatha, Hanuman Chalisa, Ramayan, Lord Vishnu, besides others.
The Department has transcribed in braille “National Education Policy 2020” in English and Hindi.There are 600 general books in Braille are available in the center which are also supplied at concessional. Catalogue of General Braille Books attached.
The press has also printed Braille signage for Railways to make travel comfortable and accessible for the visually challenged persons and signage for lifts, Menu Cards in Braille for restaurants etc.
The Election Commission of India has entrusted printing of Ballot Papers, voter slips and ballot units in Braille through NAB Braille Press. The Department undertakes the job of braille Printing of Dummy Ballot Papers, Voter Slips and Braille Numerical Stickers for Ballot Units and supplies to all constituencies of Maharashtra for its General Elections to Lok Sabha and Maharashtra Legislative Assembly
During the year 2017, for its significant contribution in the field of production and distribution of reading material for the visually impaired the Braille Press was conferred National Award 2017 for Best Braille Press, by the Ministry of Social Justice & Empowerment, Government of India. (pic) The Award was conferred by Hon’ble President of India Shri Ram Nath Kovind to the Honorary Secretary, National Association for the Blind, India, Dr. Vimal Kumar Dengla, in a official ceremony held on 3rd December 2017 at Vigyan Bhavan, New Delhi, on the auspicious International Day of Persons with Disabilities. This is the first ever National Award conferred for NAB Braille Press, since its inception
How you can help
You can help in: data entry of documents in English and other Indian languages, even if you do not know Braille; scanning and editing material for Braille conversion; comparing print text with Braille text for rectifying errors.
A converted Braille Book – 500 pages – Rs.1,000/-
Book Binding Material for 100 books – Rs.1,200/
A Religious Book in Braille – Rs.1,500/-
Print Book to Braille Book Conversion – Rs.5,000/-
120 Braille Pages Braille Book for 50 copies – Rs.15,000/-
Automatic computer Braille Embosser 650 SW – Rs.90,00,000/-
Braille Master Plate Embosser – 1,50,00,000/-
Committee Members List 2022 – 2026
Dr. A.K. Sharma
Honorary Secretary In-Charge
Dr. Vimalkumar Dengla
Mr. Firdaus Adenwalla
Ms. Rashmi Amdekar
Shri. Satej Dicholkar
Ms. Vibhavari Savarkar
Shri. Venkatesh Parab
Ms. Neelam Sharma
Shri. Pramod Singh
Shri. N. Robinson, Dy. Director
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