Unmukt, Essar Foundation’s national program for outreach and strategic inclusion for the differently abled, is a structured attempt at making mainstream entertainment accessible to the visually impaired. A wide range of popular and meaningful films have been audio-described to be enjoyed by visually impaired without the dependence of a sighted companion. Films like 3 Idiots, My name is Khan and I am Kalam are regularly screened across various cities and towns for the entertainment of visually impaired individuals of all age groups.
Recently, the audio-described version of the epic biographical film, ‘Gandhi’ was screened at Jagruti School for visually impaired girls at Alandi (D), Pune. Held on 11th March, the screening helped about 70 visually impaired girls have the experience of enjoying a film in totality.
The event began with the opening address of trustee Mr. Tapkir, who emphasized the need for greater efforts like Unmukt to provide more options for entertainment and recreation of visually impaired children.
Audio-description includes a voice-over that describes what transpires on the screen during natural pauses in the audio, and in places where visuals are not dialogue based. It also helps fill the gaps where the visually-impaired might have difficulty in relating 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.
Following the screening, children and teachers in the audience shared their experience of the screening. Essar Foundation champions the idea of inclusion and a disabled-friendly society through Unmukt, which is proactively creating access to mainstream entertainment across the country. Plans are afloat to continue hosting the screening of other popular films for the visually impaired, especially in rural areas of Pune where access to such films is lowest.