Opening the door to success

Determination coupled with hard work helps one realise their aspirations. But without proper guidance, the road to success can be bumpy and tedious.

Twenty-four-year-old Omkar Pawaskar’s academic journey started late, at the age of thirteen. Born with total blindness, his family didn’t know if education was an option. Luckily, they were financially well placed and the mother took it upon herself to home school Omkar.

A visit from the District Collector led to formal admission into Class 7 in a government school. Omkar also pursued lessons in music simultaneously. After finishing Class 12, the family moved to Goa where he graduated with a degree in Music. At present, he is preparing to appear for the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) exam.

Omkar had a chance encounter with Eyeway when he was seeking help against fighting discrimination from a bank, that denied opening a savings account or issuing an ATM card, on grounds of his blindness. While Eyeway helped resolve that issue, in the course of conversations, our Helpdesk counselor learnt that Omkar was dependent on his family in more ways than one.

Understanding his ambition and ability to succeed, the counselor nudged him to undergo rehabilitation training, which would enable him to not only navigate independently but also open up opportunities of economic independence.

He was put in touch with a tutor to learn mobility skills. Omkar also expressed a desire to learn a foreign language, for which he was recommended a French language trainer.

The counselor also advised Omkar to put his musical talent to practical use by teaching other students. He jumped up at the idea which never struck him earlier. This would help him earn some pocket money while staying in practice himself. It would also boost his confidence.

The adage, ‘better late than never’ rings true in the case of Omkar, as also in the case of several visually impaired people who remain ignorant of options and possibilities. The Eyeway intervention often becomes a precursor to an independent and dignified life for them.