You may wonder what the title – “Hear The World” – means.
“Hear The World” was a community service project of the Department of Mathematics, Faculty of Science, University of Colombo. So I thought to write regarding this as it was successfully done by my team with a huge contribution.
First, let me introduce my team. Dilmi effectively drove the team toward success by playing the role of an ideal leader. Sammani, Deelaka, Iman, Aruna, Rashmi, and Tiran were my teammates, and I was truly blessed to work with them.
Struggling with hundreds of project themes that should fit with the entire project frame, we came up with the idea of creating audiobooks as our final decision. So, we started observing the background of audiobooks in many resources as we could approach.
Do you know what is an audiobook?
“An audiobook is a recording of a book or other work being read out loud.” Audiobooks are created as knowledge gaining sources for visually impaired people.
While going ahead, we were able to know about an audiobook launching ceremony through our project supervisor, Dr. Anuradha Mahasinghe. He was a senior lecturer in our department and also a talented author. He always guided us throughout the project being a giant shadow.
We attended the launching ceremony of the audiobook “Duwili” created by Mrs. Sathya Nirmani which was held at the University of Sri Jayawardenepura. This was the real turning point of our project. We could directly contact Mrs. Sathya Nirmani and afterward, she taught us the path till the end.
As the fresh start of the whole project, we selected suitable books to create audiobooks by visiting many libraries including the Colombo Public Library. Here, we had to consider some concerns according to the facts we gathered by background searching from the Blind School Rathmalana. So we finally decided to go ahead with some suitable books for children.
The major task of the project was to record the selected books. We were guided by the professionals of the University of Sri Jayawardenepura. According to their instructions, we used the “MyStudioPC” app for recording, and the entire procedure was supervised by Mrs. Sathya and her team. Since only a small amount of Sinhala and Tamil audiobooks are currently available in Sri Lanka, we recorded 4 Sinhala books and 2 Tamil books as in the following table. All the Sinhala books were recorded by our own team members and we found two Tamil volunteers to record Tamil audiobooks.
Important facts for recording task
- Clear Voice
- A background without any noises
- The book should be read from the first page to the end
- If there is any picture in the book, it should be described simply
- Reading, should not be biased upon the view of the person who records.
The final edit was done by Mrs. Sathya and her team. Almost all the tasks were completed by then and the remaining task was to donate these audiobooks to the relevant parties. Initially, we visited the Ceylon School for the Deaf and Blind in Colombo, Sri Lanka. So we were aware of the need for audiobooks for blind children. We visited there once more and donated the audiobooks we created and copied them into a pen drive. It was a proud moment for all of us as undergraduates having done such a great service for the community who were in need of help.
Also, we donated the audiobooks to the audiobooks library of the University of Sri Jayawardenepura. Mrs. Sathya and her team who guided us, lead to operate that audiobooks library.
This was the whole process and it was not an easy journey. We had to manage all the tasks with our academic work and carry on. For the sustainability of the project, we decided to continue this with the help of many more volunteers. Working as a team to achieve a goal was the key to success. Also, we couldn’t achieve this much success if we were not guided by the ones who always were with us like shadows. So as a team, we are so grateful to the Department of Mathematics, Faculty of Science, University of Colombo, and the University of Sri Jayewardenepura.
Around 1.7% of Sri Lankans are visually impaired. So we feel the pleasure of being a helping hand to a community in need of help.