A new chapter, a new beginning

18-year-old Akthar Hussain had never heard of the possibility of a visually impaired person attending school until he contacted Eyeway. He had never heard of education, employment or accessibility opportunities available for persons with visual impairment.

Born into a large family of seven members, where his father, a tailor and the only earning member, Akthar lives a difficult life every day. His disability has made the family situation more depressing. Poverty, illiteracy, and disability have left this family in perennial despair and depression. Due to all these conditions, Akthar was not much cared for and was in isolation while growing up. Television, radio and the neighborhood friends were his only solace. His parents did not care much. They never sent him out of the house anywhere thus he never went to a school or travelled anywhere beyond Ramgarh, Jharkhand where he was born.

But it was radio and his friends who initiated the beginnings of a new aspiration in him. Akthar heard about Eyeway on ‘Hamari Vaani’, a rural social networking platform, in an audio about the smart cane. His curiosity was kindled and with the support of his friends, Akthar called the Eyeway helpline, thereby beginning a new chapter in his life. He contacted Eyeway to know more about the smart cane so that he could move around independently. But the Eyeway counselor’s intervention bared a lot of important details about his family, finances, and education. It was understood that he didn’t even have a disability certificate. Promptly Akthar was informed of the importance of being medically assessed and certified for availing all the schemes, provisions and benefits he deserves.

He was also made to understand the importance of getting educated and the possibility of still effectively finishing it despite having lost so many years. For this, the counselor connected him with Blind Relief Association (BRA), and National Institute for Visually Handicapped (NIVH), Dehradun wherefrom he could gain rehabilitation and vocational training to improve his future prospects. Eyeway’s intervention brought an unprecedented excitement into his life. To imagine that he could travel and get educated provided much joy to him and his family. His family has agreed to send him out for education on being convinced by Eyeway.

On a follow-up, it was understood that Akthar is set to join NIVH in July to pursue his education. This is a great step forward that will bring about a positive change in his life.