Swagat Thorat


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INDIA’S FIRST BRAILLE NEWSPAPER FOR THE VISUALLY BLIND

Swagat had a complying childhood, and traced his passions to become an acclaimed wildlife photographer, playwright, director, and painter. It was in 1993, when he did his first project with the visually challenged: a documentary about two schools for the blind in Pune. Later he found a mention in “Guinness World Records” for a Marathi play, “Swatantryachi Yashogatha” with 88 blind artistes from two schools. He is running India’s first Braille newspaper “Sparshdnyan” meaning ‘knowledge by touch’, since February 2008. Since March 2012, Swagat has also been working as a Chief Editor of a Hindi Braille fortnightly ‘Reliance Drishti’ published by the Reliance Foundation.

Reliance Drishti is a drive to bring light into the lives of the visually challenged from the underprivileged segment of society. PROJECT DRISHTI, a nationwide corneal grafting drive has restored sight to over 5,000 people. A unique and joint initiative of Reliance Industries Limited (RIL) and the National Association of the Blind (NAB) is now the largest corneal grafting surgery project enabled by a single corporate entity in India. Project Drishti, under the leadership of Nita Ambani, president, Dhirubhai Ambani Foundation, is working zealously to bring light into the lives of millions who have so far lived in darkness. Swagat’s work has received many awards such as Natyagaurav Puraskar, Maharashtra Deep Puraskar, Sneha Puraskar, Rajeev Gandhi Puraskar, Salute Mumbai award by In Channel and the ‘Real Hero’ award by CNN IBN channel. Despite the awards and accolades that came his way, humility is the virtue he holds dearest.

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