Almost exactly five years ago, I wrote a post on visiting cards.
We all carry them around with us, especially at conferences, and we hope they convey – in a tiny little nutshell – who we are and what we believe in, what we think is important, why we are here and for what reasons we are passing our cards around.
I realized one day that my card wasn’t quite living up to my own expectations. My work, my passion, is people with disability. But my card was only useful if you could see. What would a blind person do with my little scrap of card?
So, with some difficulty (see link above), I got my visiting cards printed in Braille.
The guy who did it ran a home printing press in Bangalore and the process couldn’t have been simpler: send 100 cards, along with 150 rupees cash (100 for the printing; 50 for the courier) to the address given. Ten days later, they are returned: inclusive, accessible, money-where-mouth-is.
But cards run out. You give them away because that’s why you got them in the first place. And when I went to have new ones made- two years ago! – the email address I had no longer responded.
Today – by a lucky chance – a woman named Nidhi wrote to me:
Dear Jo (Trust first name is fine)
Of course the Braille Visiting cards service is still on! and we are very happy to hear from you.
The thing is, this is not our current email id, so i only saw this message today. (Murphy really is our patron god. (The new id is: email@example.com . We had to abandon the old id because of spam)
We now have 2 centers – Gurgaon and Bangalore. Chandru still does it from Bangalore. You can pay by cheque or by direct transfer. For Gurgaon, the beneficiaries dont have their own bank accounts yet. So if any of the organisations you want to speak to are closer to Delhi/NCR region, do let me know and i will work out something.
Please let me know how you would like to take this forward.
What more could I ask?
I am sending my cards off on Monday, the moment our office opens after the Holi/Easter break. The address in Bangalore is the same:
Mr. K.N. CHANDRA SHEKAR
C/o Samarthanam Trust for the Disabled
#11, Villa Suchita, I cross, 17th ‘A’ Main,
J.P.Nagar II Phase, Behind Giri Apartments,
Bangalore – 560 078.
Mobile: 94498 64787
And the bank details are:
|Bank Name *:
||B.S.K. II Stage, Bangalore
|Account Name *:
|BSB Number / Bank Key *:
|Account Number *:
|Bank SWIFT Code* :
|IFSC code* :
The price has gone up to a still-very-modest Rs 2 per card, plus courier charges.
Please send your cards in. Be a part of the inclusive communication movement which is sweeping the globe. No matter who you are, no matter what your business, no matter what cause or product you are pushing: a Braille card stops people in their tracks. It reminds them there are more people in this world than we are aware of. It speaks inclusion. It shines humility. It says: we’ve been stupid. It proves: now we’re being smart.
My goal? Get the corporate world to do this too. It’s so easy! It’s so cheap! Rs 2 a pop! It tells everyone we meet that we are serious about inclusion. It’s a mainstream way to bring people with a disability to the front of the bus. Why would we not do it?