Upasana Makati, Editor, White Print
When Upasana decided to start up the first ever lifestyle magazine in braille, it seemed crazy and arduous, and she had no idea where to start. Now, with 20 times the subscribers she had when she started, it seems more amazing than ever. What makes the feat extra commendable is that it was (and still is) a one-woman show! "I just happened to be reading the paper one day, and it occurred to me that if someone were visually impaired, how did they read a paper in the morning?" she says, looking back. "I still can't fathom starting my day without mine!"
And so, White Print was born. The challenges she faced grew manifold, day by day. "Getting content together was a solid feat—but I eventually got some freelancers to contribute, and now we even have a deal with Caravan magazine "they let us use any of their content as we see fit, which, to me, is just the most exciting thing in the world!" But support wasn't always forthcoming. "Try convincing advertisers who love their graphics and images to get on board with a braille magazine!" she laughs. "But we did eventually manage to get biggies like Vodafone and Raymond to give us ads in the end." Upasana works only with a couple of external sources— she collects content, writes, and gets the whole magazine converted to braille almost entirely by herself. "But it's worth it, because the reception it's gotten is fantastic because any time I feel like giving up, readers' messages and e-mails encourage me to keep going."