One of the things I am putting a lot of energy and time into, is the spread of braille enabled cards as a concept in India. Out here, very few people are aware that their cards should be braille enabled. Even those who are aware, do not know where to get it done. Its easy to understand that part - there is no agency in India that does this.
Last year, I hit upon this idea as a sustainable source of income for the blind. I found a way by which a blind person can braille enable the cards on his/her own, given a single sample. A simple time and motion study proved that this could provide enough employment for a blind person, if there are enough orders.
People who saw and used Braille enabled cards loved them immediately. It cost so little and meant so much to people who got them done.. those stories, though several, are all heartwarming.
Fixed the price of the service at a paltry sum of INR 1 per card, or INR 100 for a set of 100 cards - thats just about $2.5 to get a whole set of 100 cards braille enabled.
Over this last year, a lot of people have read about the concept and volunteered to help, have done their bit to spread awareness, get orders etc. I have always insisted on the low price bcs we do not want it to degenerate into pseudo-charity - people paying extra money just because they want to donate, and we do not accept charity for the blind. We demand self reliance and economic freedom. And I believe fiercely that the blind deserve it.
Today, one of the prime volunteers on this project suggested that we should raise this price to INR 2 for the large corporates. His logic was that the hard work required to do these cards, and the fact that they are done, not by a machine, but by a blind person, should give the client enough satisfaction, and people anyway pay obscenely high prices for hand done things, so why not for this? Besides, most of these organisations anyway have budgets for being more socially responsible and paying INR 2 instead of INR 1 will not hurt them. In fact, they will not even notice.
I am now confused.. we are meeting a client soon.. perhaps as early as tomorrow, and I really need advice.
What do you think? Or, let me rephrase.. would you pay INR 200 to get a set of 100 cards braille enabled? This would mean that for the next 3 months(most of us use the pack of 100 visiting cards for that long, if not longer), you will get your supply of braille enabled cards, for 200 rupees, or $ 5.. sounds good?