Thinkerbell Labs and braille literacy in India

India hosts 20% of the world’s visually impaired population. Yet the braille literacy found in our country is a mere 1%. To change this situation Thinkerbell Labs came up with a workable solution - Annie.

India hosts 20% of the world’s visually impaired population. Yet the braille literacy found in our country is a mere 1%. Nearly 40 million people in India, including 1.6 million children, are blind or visually impaired. On average a child will take 1 yea to master the basics of braille under constant supervision. 

In India, due to a lack of resources and trained teachers, the braille literacy rate stays disappointing. To change this situation the students of BITS Pilani Goa came up with a workable solution. Aman Srivastava, Saif Shaikh, Sanskiriti Dawle, and Dilip Ramesh formed Thinkerbell Labs (formerly Project Mudra) to eradicate the need for an external agent (eg teacher or guide) to learn braille. 

They came up with a self-learning device named Annie. The device got its name from Helen Keller's teacher Anne Sullivan. With Annie, blind children can learn to read, type and write in braille accompanied by an auditory guide. The auditory guide comes in different languages and even accents like the UK English and USA English. The voice-led braille learning device was awarded the Great Tech Rocketship by UK Trade and Investment for which they showcased Annie to the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge. Prince William and Kate Middleton learned to type "George" (as in Prince George) in Braille.

The National Institute for the Visually Impaired certified Annie as a competent Braille teaching device. Niti Aayog too has recommended Annie to all the district collectors. They were also nominated for Prime Minister's Excellence Award. hey were also selected for the Reliance Jio GenNext Accelerator. They won the Dell Startup Challenge, winner of the Nasscom social innovation forum grant, Biz Launchpad by the Deshpande Foundation and London Acumen Pitch Event. In 2021, they also won the Dell ElevatED Challenge.

The venture received Rs 3.4 crore in seed funds from Anand Mahindra, LetsVenture, and Indian Angel Network. They acquired additional Rs 1.05 crore from Shark Tank India’s sharks namely, Lenskart founder Peyush Bansal, Emcure executive director Namita Thapar, and Shaadi.com & People Group founder Anupam Mittal.  Will Annie be the solution to increasing India’s braille literacy from a mere 1%?

Tags : #ThinkerbellLabs #SanskiritiDawle #DilipRamesh #AmanSrivastava #SaifShaikh #Annie #Braille #SharkTankIndia #Nasscom #Dell #PrinceWilliam #KateMiddleton #PrinceGeorge #MediSpeak #smitakumar #medicircle

About the Author


Priyal Shah

Priyal Shah is a graduate of Media from Mithibai College, Mumbai. She is a writer, researcher and avid reader.

Related Stories

Loading Please wait...
-Advertisements-


Trending Now

PM addresses the Nation today, announces free vaccinesJune 07, 2021
Why inhalers are best for treating asthma, well illustrated by Dr. Anil SingalMay 12, 2021
Dr. Rohan Palshetkar shares his invaluable insights about the Maternal Mortality Rate causes and improvements in India April 29, 2021
It is important to adopt a non-judgmental attitude towards any teenage girl seeking contraceptive advise suggests Dr. Teena Trivedi, Obstetrician and GynecologistApril 16, 2021
80% of the diseases are psychosomatic which means they have roots in the mind and this is where homeopathy steps in - It resolves physical ailments by finding the cause in the mind – Dr. Sanket Dhuri, Consultant Homeopath April 14, 2021
A futuristic Vision of a Healthcare Entrepreneur: Shyatto Raha, CEO, and Founder of MyHealthcareApril 12, 2021
Saher Mehdi, Founder and Chief Scientist at wellOwise talks about aspects making healthcare more equitable and reachableApril 10, 2021
Wide variety of therapies to address autism in children explained by Dr. Shilpa Jasubhai, Clinical PsychologistApril 09, 2021
Allopathic and Homeopathic medicines should not be taken together says Dr. Sunil Mehra, Homeopath ConsultantApril 08, 2021
The charm of homeopathic medicine is that it can be taken with conventional medicines – Dr. Shruthi Shridhar, Consulting Homeopath April 08, 2021
Dissociative Identity Disorder and associated concepts explained by Dr. Vinod Kumar, Psychiatrist and Head of Mpower - The Centre (Bangalore) April 07, 2021
Dissociative Identity Disorder explained by Dr. Shilpa Jasubhai, Clinical PsychologistApril 05, 2021
Sehat Ki Baat, Karishma Ke Saath- Episode 6 Healthy Diet For Boosting Metabolism Which Can Help Thyroid Patients April 03, 2021
Significant Pointers on Kidney Health by Dr. Santosh Waigankar, Consultant Urooncologist and Robotic Surgeon at Kokilaben Dhirubhai Ambani HospitalApril 01, 2021
Dr. Vaishal Kenia, Ophthalmologist Talks About the Different Possibilities Available for the Treatment of Glaucoma Depending Upon Their Type and SeverityMarch 30, 2021
No Definitive Role of Diet in Treatment of Lymphedema but Intake of Calories, Salt and Long Chain Fatty Acids should be controlled says Dr. Ramani CVMarch 30, 2021
Dr. Kiran Chandra Patro, Senior Nephrologist Talks About Dialysis as the Temporary Process and Not a Permanent Cure for the Patients of Renal DysfunctionMarch 30, 2021
Two out of three new chronic kidney disease patients are found to have diabetes or hypertension informs Dr. Sreeharsha HarinathaMarch 30, 2021
Glaucoma Treatment: Medications or Surgery? A valuable piece of advice from Dr. Pranay Kapdia, Chairman and Medical Director of Kapadia Eye CareMarch 25, 2021
Dr. Shraddha Satav, Consultant Ophthalmologist Recommends that Everybody After 40, Should Go for the Complete Eye Checkup at Regular IntervalMarch 25, 2021