Blind World Magazine

Asean carnival to honour Louis Braille.

January 5, 2006.
Malay Mail - Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

It took one blind man to make others see again. The Malaysian Association for the Blind (MAB) and the National Council for the Blind Malaysia (NCBM) organised the first Asean Braille Day Carnival yesterday to honour Louis Braille, the inventor of the Braille reading and writing system for the blind.

The carnival, a contest for blind or sight-impaired participants, was divided into seven categories. Events included "pantun" and "sajak" (Malay poetry) writing, English poetry and lyrics writing, experience-sharing and Braille reading. At stake were prizes worth RM20,000.

The "pantun", "sajak" and English poetry categories were won by Abu Hassan Ashari, Romainun Zakaria and Samiin Sualin respectively.

Abu Hassan said: "I am happy to be part of this carnival, to honour the great Louis Braille. He inspired me to write."

Romainun said she wanted to share what she thought about Braille, whose "legacy of love" gave the blind a whole new language to express their thoughts and feelings about life.

The carnival was launched by Education Ministry Parliamentary Secretary P. Komala Devi. Also present were MAB president Prof Datuk Dr Ismail Mohd Salleh and NCBM president S. Kulasegaran.

Komala said the Ministry has 870 blind people under its care and has established vocational training centres for them in Temerloh, Pahang and Brickfields.

Contestants from Vietnam, Myanmar and Singapore also took part.

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