In need of a ‘second-sight’

45 year old Naresh Danwar from Saraswati Vihar, New Delhi lost his vision from an accident when he was 17 years old. But Naresh seems to be still finding his life even after passing his prime and nearing late adulthood. Many reasons can be attributed to his present situation where he remains unmarried, unstably employed and ignorant.

Naresh was born into a well-to-do family where his father was a government employee and his mother a housewife. He was a brilliant student in school and his childhood was normal. He never knew his life would undergo a rapid turnaround during his teens. It was a fall from the roof of his house while helping with the chores of the house that gravely injured his eyes which ultimately led to his vision loss. He scraped through 10th standard and quit school after that. His parents took him to many hospitals during that period but eventually had to settle with the reality of his irreversible blindness. He grew up without being exposed to any world realities under the protection of his parents till they passed away, mother in 2008 and father in 2015. Even after being a brilliant student in school, he had to grow up confined to the house, family not seeking any opportunities for him, believing him to be no more useful in a practical sense. His parents were totally unaware of a future for their visually impaired son and they seldom discussed about him with anyone. His elder brother grew up, got married and setup a jewellery business during the same time, and he took over caring for Naresh after the death of his parents. Naresh currently lives with his brother and family under their roof and support.

The only activity Naresh picked up and started practicing gradually was Astrology, inspired from radio and TV shows. Relying on information and notes from the television, radio and internet he spend many years trying to get around the mojo of this mystical science. When he became confident of practicing it, he turned it into a commercial activity. And for more than 10 years he is locally practicing astrology and helping believers find solutions to many of their personal and professional problems. He is also generating a decent income to take care of his basic needs from this, although his brother is very supportive. He has been in touch with National Association for the Blind (NAB), Delhi for a long period. He learned to use android phones, computer, internet and other assistive technology with the help of NAB. Since early 2017 he started sharing his astrology notes for accessibility testing. NAB tech experts and Eyeway Helpdesk has been engaged in testing these notes which Naresh gathers from various sources, for more than a year now. The counselors have been testing and converting these notes for accessibility on screen reading software like NVDA, JAWS etc. This service from Eyeway counselor has helped Naresh in disseminating such information in an accessible format to his visually impaired clients as well.

Lately in the month of July 2018, Naresh visited NAB Eyeway Helpdesk to thank the counselors and also to discuss his future. In this meeting, he expressed his desire to launch his astrology career on a large scale, starting a small supporting business, income and independence etc. Counselor shared with him the need to earn some valid certification to make his astrology business more public. He was also apprised of  self-employment loans and government support schemes if he decides to start any other business enterprise. Naresh is trying to pull his life together but what he is missing is a route map. He also has the luxury of a caring family around him; initially it was his father and mother and now his brother and family. But Eyeway believes in the independence of visually impaired people thus, hopes Naresh to build a career and economic independence for himself.