Third publication with Zonta Club of Greater Dhaka

"Every year, thousands of books are published during the Amar Ekushey Book Fair. For us, the visually challenged readers - how many books are published?" - this has been the recurring question of book lovers like Zamal Ahmed, a visually challenged reader and a college student from Dhaka. Almost none of the publication houses release special braille versions of their published books, except for a dedicated one - the Sporsho Braille Foundation, a nonprofit organization for visually challenged people, which has been publishing both brand new books and special editions of popular books for the special readers, for the last one decade after starting its journey 15 years ago. So far, Sporsho Braille Prokashona has published about 130 books of stories, poetry and novels in braille.

At the recently concluded Amar Ekushey Book Fair 2023, Sporsho Braille Foundation formally celebrated its 15th founding anniversary, by unveiling 30 new books at Bangla Academy on February 24. Zonta Club of Greater Dhaka, a constant patron of Sporsho, has collaborated with the foundation with their third joint publication together, by publishing author Nasrin Sultana's book 'Putul Patul Putla Putul' at this year's Amar Ekushey Book Fair.

The festive occasion was joined by Zonta Club of Greater Dhaka President Tehmina Enayet, Vice President (1) Sonya Panni, Vice President (2) Maliha Chaudhury, former President Dr Simeen M Akhtar, Advocacy Chair Nehreen Rahman Tootli and the distinguished club members, alongside other notable personalities including Bangla Academy Director General Poet Muhammad Nurul Huda, eminent writer and educationist Professor Muhammad Zafar Iqbal, Member Secretary of Amar Ekushey Book Fair 2023 management committee KM Mujahidul Islam, Director General of popular children's television show Sisimpur Shah Alam, among others.

"Our Zonta Club of Greater Dhaka has always been an ardent supporter of the Sporsho Braille Foundation and patronised several of its humanitarian activities over the years. This year, we are extremely proud and happy to collaborate with the foundation and its publication house for the third time for the Amar Ekushey Book Fair, as we jointly published the book 'Putul Patul Putla Putul' by author Nasrin Sultana. Gallery Cosmos Artistic Director Sourav Chowdhury has beautifully illustrated the cover of the book, and we believe that together with the Sporsho Braille Prokashona - we can continue collaborating on publishing more books in the future editions of the fair as well," said Zonta Club of Greater Dhaka President and Gallery Cosmos Director Tehmina Enayet.

Nazia Jabeen, President of Sporsho Braille Foundation and Founder of Sporsho Braille Prokashona, said, "We started our journey in 2008 with a vision of empowering visually impaired people with knowledge going beyond the textbooks. Officially the textbooks are now made in Braille; however, we want our visually challenged readers to wander into the vast world of fiction beyond. With these newly launched 30 books, our number of books is now 131 - and I hope this number will increase rapidly in the future.'

During these 15 years of journey, we had to go through enormous challenges and faced many ups and downs. Luckily, with support from the Zonta Club of Greater Dhaka and our other well-wishers, we are moving forward. This club has been supporting us for a long time and helped us publish three of our very special books, and we are grateful to the distinguished members of the Zonta Club of Greater Dhaka for their constant support in our publication and other beneficiary activities for our visually challenged people," Nazia Jabeen said at the event.

The list of 30 new braille books published at this year's Amar Ekushey Book Fair includes 'Chander Pahar' by Bibhutibhushan Bandyopadhyay, 'Sultana's Dream' by Begum Rokeya Sakhawat Hossain, 'Bhooter Dim Mer Omelet' by Lutfar Rahman Riton, 'Jara Biobot' by Muhammad Zafar Iqbal, 'Baba Bari Fereni' by Anjeer Liton and others. Visually impaired people of different ages and professions from different parts of the country were present at this special event, and the books were officially handed over to them by Sporsho Braille Foundation at the event.

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