Munna Kumar Shah

24 year old Munna Kumar Shah has been living with blindness for 10 years now, due to Retinitis pigmentosa. Since the death of his parents, he has been shuffling between his elder brothers houses. One of his brothers lives in a village in the Saran district of Bihar, while the other stays in Delhi. He frequently travels from one to the other with the help of an escort. He spent his days, without any hope of ever being independent or resuming his education. He seemed to have resigned himself to the situation.

Upon listening to the Eyeway Radio show he called up our helpdesk. He spoke of helplessness as his brothers were not interested in investing in his education, employability or independence. Since both his brothers did not have a clue about life with blindness, they were often ignorant of his needs. He wanted guidance regarding education and training. We informed him that education and training were very much possible even without financial assistance from his brothers.

We told him about open schooling, mobility training, and about technologies such as Braille, Screen Reading Software etc used by visually impaired people to become more independent in their day to day lives. He enlisted our help in locating services in Bihar as he wanted to stay close to his familial roots. However thorough research revealed that there are currently no options for rehabilitation of a 24 year old school drop out in Bihar. Considering his needs and financial constraints we put him in touch with Jayati Bharatam in Lucknow.

However, he was reluctant to move to Lucknow and instead decided to come to Delhi. Since he was still looking to do something, we put him in touch with BRA in Delhi. Due to lack of support from family, the decision proved difficult. He wanted to stay in a hostel, however he feared that his brothers would sever all ties with him upon leaving home. We counseled and motivated him to enroll himself in a training as a stepping stone towards realizing his dreams.

We are happy to report, that he has finally enrolled himself in BRA for mobility and vocation training. He admits that his life is much better, now that is not sitting idle at home. He has found meaning in life. We have also informed him of the upcoming NIOS admission for class 10th, and we hope that he goes on to complete his education and live a meaningful and independent life.