Striving for self reliance

29 year old Palash belongs to Nashik. His blindness stopped him from pursuing his education beyond school. Over the years he did odd jobs around the house and helped his brother run a family grocery shop. When he found out about Eyeway he thought it might be interesting to call and find out if there were other options that he could explore as he really wished to do something of his own. Our counselor gave him information about how he could pick up his studies from where he left off.  However, Palash did not seem keen to resume studying after such a long gap. Our counselor then told him about other job options like starting a business. This caught Palash’s ears and he immediately expressed his desire to run his own business. In the past he had considered running an outfit that would grind flour and wheat. We informed him that the Social Welfare department has many schemes for loans and that he was eligible to apply for them. Following the Eyeway counselor’s advice, Palash got in touch with the Social Welfare office at his Gram Panchayat which in turn approved his loan. He is working steadily towards setting up his business. We wish him luck and hope that his story inspires others to move towards independent livelihoods.

An ear for music

21 year old Sameer has a passion for music. So great was his love that he discontinued his schooling after Class XI. He went on to pursue music and successfully graduated in the subject from a local music school. However, he felt that he was lacking something. Knowing and playing for himself or for smaller groups was not going to work. He needed to be part of something bigger. But what? Perhaps an orchestra? He decided to get some guidance from our counselor at Eyeway. His aptitude for music and the determination and dedication in the field made him a prime candidate for an orchestra. Our counselor found out about a local blind orchestra and gave him the details of Mr. Saurabh Kaushalkar, the man behind the orchestra. Sameer immediately got in touch with Saurabh and was invited for an audition. Sameer is now a member of the orchestra and on his way to pursue his childhood dream.

Catching up

In 2010 when Madan (name changed) completed his 12th standard, unlike his classmates, he did not apply for higher studies as he lost his eyesight. Unaware of the plethora of avenues that are available to visually impaired students, he was confined to his home. In April he got to know of Eyeway and decided to get in touch. He shared with the counselor his desire to learn Braille. He was keen to find a way to get his life back on track, blindness had held him back for too long. Our counselors advised him to begin by getting a Disability Certificate made in order to avail the various public sector schemes and programmes for persons with disabilities. They also shared with him the contact details of Lucknow based NGO Jayanti Bhartam, that provides education and rehabilitation to adult persons with disabilities, and told him that they would be in a position to guide him and provide him with the necessary skills and knowledge for him to get his life back on track and be able to study and work in the future.

Accessible Audio Books for Blind and Visually Impaired

By Sonali Jain, Saksham

Mass production of accessible books can eradicate the book famine faced by persons with blindness or other print disabilities.

Books are considered a person’s best companion. It is said that “When you open a book, you open a new world”. Books provide us with an endless pool of knowledge and information and allow a person to improve his / her understanding by exposing one to new things, besides being an invaluable source of entertainment.

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5 Visually Impaired Comedians Who Have Broken All Kinds of Disability Myths

By Anoushka Mathews

There are plenty of visually impaired people making waves in the world of stand-up comedy. Here are five of the best.

Comedy opens your heart, releases tension, and gives you different ways to think of things.” – Anonymous

The sorry image of the blind man who pities himself and hates the sighted world is not what you will see if you ever happen to be at the shows of one of these comedians. They’re one sense short, but their sense of humour more than makes up for their lack of sight. Their ability to view the humour in situations makes for great stories that audiences can crack up to.

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Digital India: A boon for the visually impaired

By Shruti Pushkarna

Digital India is a transformational idea that needs to be exploited beyond its present scope to bring persons with blindness and visual impairment into the mainstream.

Digital Literacy, Digital Divide, Digital Inclusion. These terms are increasingly becoming a part of our conversational vocabulary, thanks to Prime Minister Modi’s flagship campaign, Digital India.

Unlike the myriad schemes announced by previous ruling governments, Digital India is a powerful idea. It’s a transformative campaign, especially so from a blind citizen’s perspective.

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What govt needs to do to make Rights of Persons with Disability Act work

By Koshy Mathew

“A human being is a magnificent creation and the magnificence must reflect in a humane, magnanimous, and all-inclusive manner so that every individual tends to feel that she/he deserves space,” as observed by the Supreme Court in the Pranay Kumar Podder vs State of Tripura and Others case in 2017.

There is potential progress on the horizon as inclusion, integration and phrases that would define their essence are discussed zealously, but what portends horror is that it is still left to choice – that it is not the practice.

Policymakers say let’s change the rules, activists say let’s change the mindset, politicians say let’s treat “them” as “Divine”, courts say let’s be magnanimous and civil society says let’s earn favours from God – all this haggle is for accepting the “other”. Read more