Bengaluru (Karnataka) [India], April 29 (ANI/NewsVoir): Annie, the world’s first tech-enabled braille literacy solution by Thinkerbell Labs, has received many accolades and recognition post its Shark Tank success. The start-up was recently invited to be a part of The Raisina Dialogue, hosted by Observer Research Foundation in partnership with the Ministry of External Affairs, Government of India. Thinkerbell was the only winner of the National Start-up Awards 2021 to be invited as a speaker to launch the Handholding Support of National Start-up Awards 2021 organised by DPIIT (Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade).
The NITI Aayog has also recommended the start-up’s solution Annie Smart Class as an intervention for replication to Aspirational Districts and the Ministry of Social Justice. Currently, Thinkerbell Labs has more than 500 Annie devices installed in over 50 smart classes across 16 states in the country. The start-up has tied up with several district and state governments including Jharkhand, Tamil Nadu, and Maharashtra to provide the world’s first self-learning, gamified, and interactive device for children with visual impairment.
Commenting on the recent honour, Sanskriti Dawle, CEO of Thinkerbell Labs, said, “Innovation in the special ed space has been rather stagnant in the last decade or so. Forget about keeping pace with the new ed-tech solutions; the present learning methods of education used for students with visual impairment are archaic, inefficient, and require constant human intervention and supervision. With Annie, we aim to eliminate all of that and give learners who are visually impaired a chance to learn comfortably, interactively, and independently.
We are grateful for the constant support and recognition that the Government of India has given us. It is with the help and intervention of governmental agencies that social impact innovations like Annie will ensure inclusive and holistic learning. We are humbled and thankful to DPIIT and other governmental organisations in recognizing and believing in the impact we are trying to make in the world.”
There are 19 million children with visual impairment worldwide under 15 years of age who require inclusive access to education and learning. Especially for India, which is slowly building on its educational infrastructure, a tech innovation like Annie will accelerate the move towards a more accessible and inclusive learning model.
Thinkerbell Labs is a 2016 tech-innovation start-up aimed at inventing social impact products. Annie is Thinkerbell’s flagship product and the world’s first braille literacy solution for inclusive education driven by intuitive engineering and simple design. Annie is a self-learning and remote enabled device that helps learners with visual impairment to read, write, and type in Braille independently without any human intervention and in their preferred language. Presently, more than 500 Annie devices are installed across 50+ Annie Smart Classes all across India. The start-up has an increased focus on early learning and the effects of foundational literacy on a child’s future. The start-up is backed by marquee investors like Aanand Mahindra, Indian Angel Network, and Let’s venture.
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