The concept of an audio-book is most certainly not the most unheard of; however, it does remain to be a domain untouched by many in Sri Lanka since producing such material requires a certain level of proficiency and resources while it also acquires a considerable amount of time. Taking up this challenge in sailing against all such odds, Ven. Prof. Medagoda Abhayatissa, of the Department of Pali and Buddhist Studies of the university has taken up this task in producing audio books (targeting the recording of 3000 words per month) under the title of “Vinivida”to facilitate all visually challenged students of primarily the University of Sri Jayewardenepura eventually leading up to the society at large.
The university has a significant number of visually impaired students who are truly an inspiration and a living example in understanding that it is the eye and not the brain that is impaired. While an average student could hop to the library and locate the reading material required, a visually challenged student would generally have to operate within quite a narrow space in doing so. Even if the reading material is freely available, he/she would have to ask another to read it to them making this seemingly miniature task quite exhausting. You could then perhaps question why the brail system cannot be used. The brail system is an advanced technology which is not easily accessible in the practical day to day living scenario since it is costly and can only be used by one person at a time.
Therefore there is an exceedingly apparent need for such resources and this need is what was identified by Ven. Prof. Medagoda Abhayatissa. In order to fulfill this need of the hour, Ven. Prof. Medagoda has employed Mr. Kasun Nayanajith from Daisy Lanka Foundation as the Technical instructor and Ms. Sathya Nirmani, a graduate of the university. Ven. Prof. Medagoda has also a team comprising of seven academics of the university to support him in completing this beneficial task.
Ven. Prof. Medagoda Abhayatissa plans on releasing the completed audio books to relevant websites and then to produce CD’s if and when necessary. Ven. Prof. Abhayatissa is also planning on extending the reach of these materials by sharing it with the university libraries and private organizations.
This estimable deed indeed is a landmark in the university history of journeying towards enlightenment.
‘vijja uppatatam settha’
(‘among all that rise knowledge is the greatest’)