Louis Braille: I salute this charismatic personality! 4th January 2018 marks his 209th Birth Anniversary!

Louis Braille Picture

World Braille Day is celebrated every year on 4th January to commemorate the birthday of Louis Braille. Before we get deeper, you should know what Braille is.  It is a system of raised dots that can be read with fingers by visually challenged people. A surprising thing is that the discoverer of braille was a fifteen year old boy.

Louis Braille was one of these unique people who thought about others. He didn’t just transform the way things had always been carried out; he totally improved the quality of life of a huge group of people. If you feel that he was born with a silver spoon, you need to shed that thought because on 4 January 1809, Louis Braille was born to a middle class family in a small city near Paris. And it might interest you that this charismatic boy was not born blind. He lost his complete eyesight by the age of five.

Initially he was in a local school and used to study by listening but when he was 9, a noble woman was moved to hear his story and requested Royal Institute for the Blind school in Paris to enrol him as a student.  Indeed, Louis was accepted into the first school in the world for visually impaired students.  He learnt different things there like grammar, music and science.  Of course the school was not a rosy place but he learnt whatever he wanted to grasp.

A retired French army captain named Charles Barbier once visited Louis’s school.  During his trip he introduced the students to a new system of writing, a method he created to enable soldiers to communicate silently without requiring light.  The system used a code that was made from dots and dashes. These were punched into heavy paper with a shrill tool though his method had never succeeded in the realm of army because of the complications it had. But for Louis, it was no less than a beacon of light. He completely encompassed this new language and set to work forming a better system.

The system didn’t arise overnight. He spent two long years. Louis worked really hard on this new system and he finally cracked the code when he was just 15. He soon showed master and faculty in the school his system of reading and writing. By the age of 19, he was teaching full time at this Royal Institute for the Blind but till then he couldn’t able to convince the school to introduce his new language system.

Unfortunately Louis died at an early age of forty-three, after a long fight with a breathing condition. In 1854, two years after his death, his language system was finally accepted by Royal Institute for the Blind. This adoption was possible because of the irresistible demand of students!

It was a brief synopsis of legendry life of Louis Braille. We should learn a lot from this resilient, resolute and passionate hero! We should never give up in our endeavours. And the most vital thing we should learn from him is to always stay attentive about everything. The way Louis took Inspiration from a random visit of an officer; we never know what turns out to be our Inspiration!

Feel free to share your views in the comment area.

2 comments

  1. I like to call such people, Titans. By people I mean, people like Louis Braille. They knew that physical limitations are nothing but diversion-boards that set you on a different path. More importantly, they knew that the key to success is to never give up.

    Liked by 1 person

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