Tax exemption on Braille papers delights student

Tax exemption on Braille papers delights student

The Union budget has brought smile to the face of a visually challenged student in Bengaluru. Chandana Chandrashekar’s (in pic) request that Braille papers and equipment be exempted from tax was taken into consideration in the budget. 

Chandana, a final-year BCom student at Mount Carmel College, had spoken to the Congress vice president, Rahul Gandhi, about the challenges she faced in procuring the material. This was in November when Gandhi visited the college. 

“I am really surprised. Though I had a conversation with Rahul Gandhi, I thought it would take a long time for any change to happen,” she said. “I am extremely happy that the finance minister made the announcement in the Union budget.” Chandana said she was only partially blind until she was six years old. She lost complete vision thereafter. She also uses hearing aids. 

According to Chandana, 2,000 Braille sheets cost nearly Rs 3,500. But the quality is not good and she has to procure them from Kerala. “We place an order and the vendor couriers it to us. We also checked with a few sellers in Mumbai. The cost is Rs 5,000 there,” she said. For visually challenged people, Braille sheets are the main medium of learning.  

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