In India, only 1% of the printed material is available to the visually impaired in an accessible format. And good poetry takes the last place in the list. In an attempt to help the visually impaired appreciate good poetry, OMRON India and National Association for the Blind, Delhi have taken their initiative – ‘Your Voice, Their World’ to the online world. The campaign aims to create the world’s largest audio-library of poems for the visually impaired. And anyone can be a part of it.
Through the ‘Your Voice, Their World’ initiative, the poetry audio-library will be made available to NAB students as well as other visually impaired connected through its network. Interestingly, the first poem has been submitted by OMRON’s brand ambassador Farhan Akhtar who lent his voice to a beautiful poem written by Prasoon Joshi, lyricist and Chairman, CEO and Chief Creative Officer, McCANN Worldgroup India and South Asia.
He has been joined by many other eminent personalities like Anupam Kher, Atif Aslam, Sona Mahopatra, Rahul Bose among others, who have submitted their own poems or read out famous poems like Daffodils by William Wordsworth, If by Rudyard Kipling and ‘Himmat karne walon ki haar nahi hoti” by Harivansh Rai Bachchan.
You can read a poem from the available database or submit one of your own. Get ‘likes’ for it and win prizes – the top 5 winners will get a chance to meet actor Farhan Akhtar.
While the campaign has created a website powered by a Facebook login and mobile apps (Android and iOS) for submission of the poems, OMRON India’s Facebook, YouTube and Twitter pages are being leveraged to drive the community to the website and participate in the movement. The site claims to have 1826 poems submitted until now.
To submit, one can visit the ‘participate’ tab on the website, record a poem or upload a recorded poem. The database has poems available in English and Hindi as of now. Under ‘Explore’ tab, you can vote for the poems of your Facebook friends or from the latest submissions. A leaderboard lists the entries sorted by highest number of votes.
‘Your Voice, Their World’ on social
Similar to the participate tab, a Facebook app has been created on OMRON India’s Facebook page. One has to ‘like’ the page to take part. The brand’s Facebook wall has been engaging the community by sharing featured poems and pictures of Farhan’s interaction with winners. While the campaign video is being shared through social media, most of the buzz is happening on Twitter. The brand ambassador as well as the celebrities who have lent their voice to this initiative have been promoting about the campaign on Twitter.
Congratulations to the 5 winners of Omron India’s ‘Your Voice Their World’ contest. Pls visit http://t.co/drsITrbNUg to contribute a poem
— Farhan Akhtar (@FarOutAkhtar) April 17, 2014
Everyone, please support this cause… It’s a great campaign to help the blind…read on….Your Voice, Their World http://t.co/Vb5cRVpt8d
— Shamita Singha (@shamitasingha) April 15, 2014
CSR powered by social
The ‘Your Voice, Their World’ initiative is a wonderful example of a people-powered corporate social responsibility campaign. It successfully leverages the reach of social networks by providing the community with an opportunity to do good, and also the chance to meet actor Farhan. The use of social platforms for spreading the word coupled with mobile apps has made the campaign open for all audiences.
Roping in celebrities has also added to the authenticity of the campaign with most of them being social influencers on Twitter.
While the first leg of the project that started in December 2013, focused on creation of an accessible digital library for blind students at NAB, Delhi, this initiative will give the students audio access to a large library of poems. Do spread the word and help make it big.