A new start with many possibilities

21-year-old Loknath hails from Durg, Chhattisgarh. Born blind by birth into a poor family, he managed to study only till class 8 through Sarva Shiksha Abhiyaan, Government of India’s flagship programme making education free and compulsory to children between 6 and14 years.. With SSA’s special focus on education of children with special needs, he was able to learn braille during his time in the school.

Despite Loknath’s desire to study further, he was denied admission by every school he approached citing lack of seats or resources to teach visually impaired students. Due to the sheer lack of awareness and ignorance by people around him, he was forced to give up and sit at home for the next 7 years. Luckily, a few months ago he heard about Eyeway Helpdesk on Hamari Vaani, and without wasting more time he dialed the toll-free number to seek information on training and job opportunities.

On his conversation with the counsellor, Loknath shared that he always believed that he was capable of doing everything like a sighted person could do. But because his family had no awareness on provisions for people with blindness/ vision impairment, he was not able to pursue his dreams so far. He also spoke about the plight of many young girls and boys with blindness known to him who continued to live in darkness and sought help for them too.

Understanding his needs and a keen interest in starting his life all over again, Loknath was immediately apprised about various laws and provisions for persons with blindness. To help him reorient to normal life, the counsellor suggested a one-year training programme at Delhi’s National Association for the Blind, where he would learn life skills, mobility, basic computers using assistive technologies like smartphone, making him employable in future. He was also advised to enrol through open schooling to complete his Class 10 and 12.

Eyeway team has already helped Loknath enrol in the one-year training course from Delhi’s National Association for the Blind that begins in January 2020.