New horizons at the end of the road

When 18-year-old Govind Tripathi (name changed) from Agra, Uttar Pradesh contacted Eyeway, the prospects of helping him seemed difficult. He connected with a preconceived plan and he wanted Eyeway’s assistance only in the manner he anticipated. Govind wanted education and career-related assistance from Eyeway.  He is a computer enthusiast and he wanted to know how Eyeway could help him become a techie in a multi-national corporation (MNC). Eyeway always strives for the best and viable solutions for the visually impaired clients.
The challenge with such clients is that they require counseling on a range of issues. Their primary issues could be education or employment or accessibility but emotional counseling is sometimes more important. Their ideas can be very abstract, even stubborn, guided by lack of information. They need to be primarily made flexible to viable and realistic goals and then provided with options to achieve those. Govind also was driven by this lack of information and abstract ideas.

Govind, younger among the brothers, from a small-town lower-middle-class family, started his schooling from a blind school in Agra where he studied till 1st standard. After that, his parents shifted him to National Institute for Visually Handicapped (NIVH) in Dehradun looking for a better quality education with accommodation. But his schooling ended abruptly when he met with repeated accidents resulting in leg fractures while pursuing 4th standard. This affected his mobility and confidence. He was brought home by his parents and stayed at home nursing his health for the next four years.

Having nothing much to do but to remain patient till he gained mobility and confidence, he scouted for ways to engage his mind in some alternate activities. This led him to pick an interest in computers which was first introduced to him in NIVH. He started spending most of his time working on it, largely surfing the internet. With his growing interest, he hired a private tutor and learned the ‘C’ programming computer software during the same time. At the end of four years in 2016, after regaining the majority of his mobility and confidence, he passed his 10th and 12th standard exam through open schooling.

Now Govind wants to pursue his education and find the right career. But the challenge was when he approached Eyeway he had already made up his mind. He wanted to study Bachelor of Computer Application (BCA), which he believed as the only way to gain a techie’s job in a corporation. While BCA was one way to do it, there were challenges to it too. BCA has a curriculum based on mathematics largely and some institutions keep mathematics as a criterion for allowing admission. Govind had never learned mathematics in school. This was one challenge Eyeway had to resolve.

Also, in this new innings of his life, his parents were unsure of sending him alone anywhere away from home. Thus, they decided to put him with his relative’s family in Gwalior, Madhya Pradesh to pursue his education. In this context, Govind wanted Eyeway to help him find out a private mathematics tutor in Gwalior city who can teach him the subject in Braille. He thought this will help him learn basic school mathematics before the BCA entrance exam which was just a few months away. And this was the second challenge.

Eyeway felt this issue of Govind unviable at many levels. Firstly, BCA is not the only course to achieve his dream career path. Secondly, to train someone in a subject for the first time in his life and to make him ready for a competitive exam few months prior to it is unfeasible. Mindful of these realistic challenges, Eyeway connected Govind to a disability-rights activist in Madhya Pradesh who could explain to him the challenges and opportunities in achieving his dream job. This conversation he had with the activist revealed to him the diverse possibilities for having the same career, but not the only one way he had envisioned.

On follow-up, Govind was found more relaxed, open-minded and pragmatic. He was curious about different academic disciplines in line with what he had studied. Eyeway counselor was able to convince Govind, now welcoming towards diverse options, to continue education in one of the Arts subjects which he learned in school while simultaneously gaining advanced levels of training in Computer. Govind has wholeheartedly agreed to this suggestion and will be soon joining the Delhi University to continue his education.