GST on Disability: The Opportunity Cost

By Koshy Mathew

In July this year, India saw the advent of a new tax regime aimed at unifying the sprawling markets as disparate and diverse as the people of the country itself. Citizens responded with mixed emotions of welcome and disapproval.

While Goods and Services Tax (GST) is not new to the global markets, it took the Indian market by surprise. It is also ironic that GST which in concept is simpler to surmount is more confusing to the Indian market and society than the former multi-layered indirect tax regime. GST subsumes as many as 17 indirect taxes (Central and State) and around 22 types of Cess into one single tax. This is a revolutionary move in the history of Indian taxation.  Read more

The Inspiring and Astounding Work of Visually Impaired Indian Photographers

By Anoushka Mathews

Visually impaired people from India are exploring a visual art form like photography. Here’s to the techniques that guide them and the passion that motivates them.

So many in our country are shocked at the mention of photography by the blind, they cannot seem to wrap their head around the concept. Why and how would a blind person take a photograph?  Like most photographers, persons with blindness too have been drawn to photography out of a curiosity to explore the world through images.

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Accessible Audio Books for Blind and Visually Impaired

By Sonali Jain, Saksham

Mass production of accessible books can eradicate the book famine faced by persons with blindness or other print disabilities.

Books are considered a person’s best companion. It is said that “When you open a book, you open a new world”. Books provide us with an endless pool of knowledge and information and allow a person to improve his / her understanding by exposing one to new things, besides being an invaluable source of entertainment.

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5 Visually Impaired Comedians Who Have Broken All Kinds of Disability Myths

By Anoushka Mathews

There are plenty of visually impaired people making waves in the world of stand-up comedy. Here are five of the best.

Comedy opens your heart, releases tension, and gives you different ways to think of things.” – Anonymous

The sorry image of the blind man who pities himself and hates the sighted world is not what you will see if you ever happen to be at the shows of one of these comedians. They’re one sense short, but their sense of humour more than makes up for their lack of sight. Their ability to view the humour in situations makes for great stories that audiences can crack up to.

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Digital India: A boon for the visually impaired

By Shruti Pushkarna

Digital India is a transformational idea that needs to be exploited beyond its present scope to bring persons with blindness and visual impairment into the mainstream.

Digital Literacy, Digital Divide, Digital Inclusion. These terms are increasingly becoming a part of our conversational vocabulary, thanks to Prime Minister Modi’s flagship campaign, Digital India.

Unlike the myriad schemes announced by previous ruling governments, Digital India is a powerful idea. It’s a transformative campaign, especially so from a blind citizen’s perspective.

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What govt needs to do to make Rights of Persons with Disability Act work

By Koshy Mathew

“A human being is a magnificent creation and the magnificence must reflect in a humane, magnanimous, and all-inclusive manner so that every individual tends to feel that she/he deserves space,” as observed by the Supreme Court in the Pranay Kumar Podder vs State of Tripura and Others case in 2017.

There is potential progress on the horizon as inclusion, integration and phrases that would define their essence are discussed zealously, but what portends horror is that it is still left to choice – that it is not the practice.

Policymakers say let’s change the rules, activists say let’s change the mindset, politicians say let’s treat “them” as “Divine”, courts say let’s be magnanimous and civil society says let’s earn favours from God – all this haggle is for accepting the “other”. Read more