Family support and Eyeway guidance proved beneficial

20-year-old Durga Kumari was born in Etah, Mainpuri district as a sighted child. At the age of 4, she got high fever and due to improper medical help she lost her vision. She pursued her primary education from a mainstream school till Class V with the help of her family who read out the course material and notes to her. Her family comprising of her mother and elder brother, moved to Delhi in 2009. But due to unawareness of any organizations or schools to help blind children, Durga was confined to her home without access to a formal education. However, she continued with personal tuitions at home. In 2015, when her elder brother took her to AIIMS to get a Disability Certificate, they were informed about National Association for Blind, Delhi where they came in touch with the counselors on the Eyeway Helpdesk.

When the Eyeway counselor got to know that Durga was presently pursuing Class X, he informed them about the scribe facility which she could avail for her board exams. He helped them with the required information and Durga was able to sit through her exams with appropriate assistance in writing. Post her exams her brother approached Eyeway for further counseling regarding Durga’s future prospects including her higher studies. Our counselor observed that Durga was reclusive in nature and hesitant so he suggested her brother to get her enrolled at NAB, India Centre for Women (NAB-CBW) in Hauz Khas where she could build her confidence and make new friends. He apprised them about the basic computer training course which would help her in accessing books and study material. Following NAB-Eyeway counselor’s suggestions, at NAB-CBW, Durga trained in handicraft, cooking and computers. She also learnt how to use a white cane, which helped her in mobility.

Durga has been in constant touch with the NAB-Eyeway Helpdesk for new government schemes, assistive technology uses, education and training opportunities etc. She will be appearing for her XIIth Board exams from NIOS this year. Durga wants to study further and pursue her graduation. Realizing her academic ambitions, her brother in consultation with our counselor bought her a laptop with screen reading software so she can access study material seamlessly. And alongside her educational pursuit, the counselor also recommended that Durga join the ‘Discovery Hands’ course at NAB CBW. In this one year course, visually impaired women are trained for a detailed manual breast examination, thus creating a potential employment. Durga expressed an interest in taking up this course along with her graduation.

Since they are financially weak, Eyeway counselor explained the procedure to apply and avail disability pension.

More than everything, Durga and her family acknowledge NAB-Eyeway’s contribution in making her a confident independent woman who is keen to chase her dreams.