Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar, let's Record, testimonials

Experience / Learnings From Dr. Ambedkar Audiobook Project!

Bhimrao Ramji Ambedkar (14 April 1891 – 6 December 1956), venerated as Babasaheb, was an Indian jurist, economist, politician and social reformer, who inspired the Dalit Buddhist movement and campaigned against social discrimination towards the untouchables (Dalits). He was British India’s Minister of Labour in Viceroy’s Executive Council, Chairman of the Constituent Drafting committee, independent India’s first Minister of Law and Justice, and considered the chief architect of the Constitution of India.
In 1990, the Bharat Ratna, India’s highest civilian award, was posthumously conferred upon Ambedkar.
Dr. Ambedkar Foundation, Government of India, released Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar’s books in Hindi. Now the Original volumes have been divided into a total of 40 volumes. But Sadly, These Volumes were not available in Audio Format and that was the reason why, many Students of our Visually Impaired Community have not been able to read Ambedkar books! But We at Vargshikshak – Let’s Record are trying our best to give Voice to the writings of Ambedkar Volumes.

The is indeed a huge project wherein we have recorded Upto the 32nd volume (22,31,33,34 in process) and 6 more yet to start and complete. [ON 23 NOVEMBER 2021] Although recording and editing work is still in progress, we heartily want to thank each and every volunteer who has put in his/her heart and soul into recording these books and without whose support and dedicated service reaching this stage would not have been possible. Our volunteers means our Team Members are the biggest assets of Vargshikshak and we value their time and efforts and wish to be associated with them for a very very long time.
Now dear Readers, In this Blog you will be reading the Experience/Learnings of the Volunteers from the Project of recording Ambedkar books!


Hello everyone! This is Deepalakshmi, storyteller and writer associated with R.E.A.D Club. I have penned down my experience of working on this incredible project of recording Dr. Ambedkar’s books (his speechels and writings) with our amazing volunteers for our dear friend Raam Singh, a PhD student at JNU, Delhi.

It was just another day of sharing the drive link of an audio-book on our ‘Vargshikshak – Let’s Record’ WhatsApp group, sometime in February 2021. I had just shared the recordings of a book -M.A Hindi First Semester- recorded by me and a couple of our volunteers for Miss. Monica, another visually-challenged student from Delhi University.   

Appreciating our work, Mr.Raam Singh, who is pursuing a PhD in East Asian Studies at JNU and is a member of our WhatsApp group, posted a requirement asking us to record a few of Dr.Ambedkar’s books in Hindi for him. I readily agreed since we have a wonderful team of volunteers and asked him to send the PDFs of the same, assuming that there would be two or three books of a hundred pages at the most. I am sure that not only I but everyone was completely flabbergasted after he began sending different volumes of the Ambedkar book. He sent around 21 volumes, which gave me the shock of my life. I wondered how a small bunch of volunteers was going to record 21 volumes. The content to cover was vast as some volumes had 500+ pages. The language used was also not easy to read. There were many difficult terminologies, tables and charts in the books.

But Like an angel, Manisha Arora came to our rescue, instilling a lot of confidence in us by saying that we would record them one by one even though it would take considerable time. I immediately asked Vishal Palve, the captain of our ‘Vargshikshak –Let’s Record’ ship, if we could collaborate with another recording team in Kerala called ‘Hidden Voices’.  He agreed, and we entrusted the responsibility of recording the first 10 volumes to them. Manisha took over the responsibility of breaking up the PDFs of volumes 11 to 21 into sections that were to be allotted to the volunteers. I began coordinating with them, and thus began our mission to record volumes 11 to 21 in just six months’ time.Once we finished  21 volumes, we had an online interaction involving our volunteers and Mr. Raam Singh.

Just when we thought we had reached our goal, Manisha Ma’am gave us a jolt saying that there was an update on the Velivada website for recording another 19 volumes i.e volumes 22-40, of which Mr. Raam Singh was unaware. On inquiry, Mr.Singh told us that he would definitely need the recordings of those additional volumes since he felt it would be very helpful to him in his PhD studies and also it would be helpful for all the VI Students of our Country. It was an enormous task but we had already learnt how to manage our work.

I extend a big thanks to all the volunteers who came forward to help us, without whom this MEGA (BHIM) PROJECT would not have been possible. Volunteers from Kerala, Maharashtra, U.P, Tamil Nadu, Bihar, Gujarat, Canada and the United States,.Etc. joined hands to complete this recording assignment.

A few volumes were recorded by individual volunteers, which is quite commendable. Their names are: Nishtha Ma’am, Kamala Mulani Ma’am, Sakshi, Monika, Meena Ma’am and Manisha and Myself. Some bigger volumes were divided into sections by Manisha Ma’am, and a team was formed for each volume. A deadline was given to the volunteers, and now we have reached the 34th volume in the month of November.

Manisha and I had the experience of dividing the books into sections, recording a few books,  editing audios, and coordinating with the volunteers to make sure everything is done systematically. Manisha arranged every volume on the drive in an organised manner.  Hats off to her! I learnt a lot working by her side. And ofcourse, Reading Dr.Ambedkar’s books has given me an insight into the different challenges of the Pre-Independence and Post-Independence eras and the dynamism with which Dr.Ambedkar suggested solutions for several issues. I have been a part of recording and editing volumes 11, 12, 15, 18, 23, and 30. 

Recording volumes 1 to 34 is indeed a humongous success for Vargshikshak Team, and we are currently in the process of recording the few remaining volumes.


MANISHA ARORA:

My journey with Let’s record started within a month of its foundation. I had started my storytelling channel – Katha Kahaani Kavya and association with Let’s record was a smooth sail. Initially, we were recording various genres of books, course materials, Prep materials and books for Civil services aspirants. Then one day Raam approached with the request of recording Dr Ambedkar’s books. Initially, we were told there are 21 volumes of his complete work. We took it up immediately. Vol 1-10 was taken up by another group, hence we started with volume 11. By the time we were on volume 15, we had learned so much about how much we needed to work on the overall quality of recording as this was a huge project and chances were high that no one else would take it upon themselves to record these books professionally. By that time Deepalakshmi had also become part of the team who were recording these books regularly. Both Deepa and I started working on the plans of making the quality better with each book. Meanwhile, we discovered that these were not just 21 books, there were 40 volumes in total. From the point where we thought “we are halfway there”, we were pushed down with the realization that it was a meagre 17% of the total work we had taken up. However, our enthusiasm and pace increased after that. We worked hard on the planning, execution, coordination, editing, and following up with the volunteers since each book was divided across 4-6 volunteers. Deepa and I discussed, planned each volume, breakdown, google drive, editing target date etc before putting it out for volunteers. Simultaneously we were also recording these books in parts. Each book was learning not just in terms of the content that we were recording but also how all this had to be managed at the macro level for smooth execution. It was anything but smooth.

Providing guidance and setting up the system for each volunteer to maintain consistency and quality across all the work took a lot of time. On top of that, we also got involved in editing the recordings before making them available for listeners. Neither of us was trained for any of this, it was more of passion that was driving us to learn, improve, train, guide others and bring them to the same level of vision and understanding. Within a couple of months, we realized we were burning out with so much to do all the time. That’s when we put out the request that we were seeking volunteers who could take over the editing work. We found an excellent team within the group. They have been doing superb work in improving the quality, calling out the problems, (which helps in avoiding the same problems in the future recordings). [Editor Group]

I have to mention that we also found excellent people who recorded these books, gave the most valuable thing from their life – TIME. Their voices will be there forever. A huge thanks to the entire team of volunteers who have been recording, editing, planning and executing the recordings. None of us was professional in any of these areas, but everyone learned in the process and kept on improving and delivering. Slowly we developed a system and had zoom meetings with all our volunteers. We gave a presentation covering all the areas of recording, editing and uploading. It helped all the volunteers in connecting better and clarifying their doubts, resolving issues. For this presentation, you can click here.

We can proudly say that out of 30 volumes, which we had taken, we have already recorded more than ~24 volumes. More are in the process, which we will be able to finish in the coming months. Last but not least, A big Thanks to Vishal for creating the platform for this Noble cause. I will also take the opportunity to share that as soon as we finish the project, each person involved will be felicitated with a certificate recognizing and honouring their efforts and time. There will be more about it in the coming weeks.


Friends, As our Project Coordinators Mrs. Deepalakshmi and Mrs. Manisha have mentioned, We are currently in the Process of recording the remaining handful volumes. However, Please do  spare a few minutes to read the interesting Experiences/Learnings of our Other Volunteers (Team members) that are posted below;


RAM SINGH (Phd Student at JNU, Delhi):

I got to know about Let’s Record project through social media. The initiative started during the Covid period. The amazing concept behind the project has really attracted me and influenced me. As Vishal said, “Our aim is to study at home and record the same to reach many with our voices, So that we can help the visually impaired community to study well and grow intellectually.”
While analysing the dedication, enthusiasm and hardships of the volunteers, I requested them to record all volumes of Dr. BR Ambedkar in Hindi. And Without any hesitation, my request has been accepted. It is one of my dream project to reach with the ideas of Ambedkar. The best part of the project is that not only young people but working people within and outside India are also associated with the same. Recording 40 volumes is a humongous task. And the passion of all the volunteers must be applauded.

I also got to know many experiences of the readers who recorded the Dr BR Ambedkar books. I feel it is quite possible that many of the negative counter perceptions and misconceptions about Babasaheb would have been cleared for some people and they would have been amazed to read the healthy discussions, conferences held on the various topics, especially the constitution. With this meaningful initiative, we will definitely be able to fulfil the dream of Babasaheb to Organise the various systems in our country.

Highest regards for all the volunteers while supporting all of us in order to achieve our goals of studying and competing in the society with equal rights and participation. Thanks from the bottom of my heart to the whole team of vargshikshak.



We are definitely happy to have been able to do our bit for our visually impaired friends but we have not yet achieved our goal! We aim for One Audio Book Platform for All Visually Impaired.

We have successfully received 22,000+ Signatures for our Petition which we had posted on Change.org. But we are Still far from our goal. It would be great if we all join hands together to make a representation to our government to make a single Mobile Application.

[KLeFT Webinar on Let’s Record Petition/Future!]


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