Addressing the gaps of implementation in government provisions

26 year old Ajay Sharma (name changed) was born as a sighted child to a farmer family in Solapur, Maharashtra. He has two elder brothers, one works as a telephone operator and the other repairs sewing machines. At the age of 4, Ajay was diagnosed with Retinitis Pigmentosa which led to a rapid vision loss, leaving him completely blind in a span of 6 months. His family turned hopeless from the time of Ajay’s diagnosis and showed no form of support in coping with his disability. Growing up as the only blind person in the house, Ajay experienced neglect, suffering at the hands of lack of awareness and sensitivity.

However, he managed to study in a blind school up till Class 5 and then went on to finish his education in a mainstream school. Given the lack of support at home, Ajay reached out to the National Association of Blind (NAB) in Solapur to further pursue vocational training in order to chart out a future for himself. At NAB, he underwent a candle-making course and is currently engaged in teaching other visually impaired students there. Ajay is also pursuing his first year of graduation, residing at NAB. He learnt about Eyeway listening to a radio promotion and connected with the Helpdesk in April 2017. As a frequent caller, Ajay has been assisted by Eyeway counselors on queries related to scribe guidelines, government provisions, employment opportunities and so on.

Ajay recently reached out to the Helpdesk once again to inquire about a State Transport concessions card. Eyeway counselor provided all the details related to the scheme including the process, mode and timelines of application. The counselor also shared with Ajay details of the Maha Seva Kendra, the concerned issuing authority for a State Transport card. But when Ajay visited their office, he learnt that even though the scheme had been announced by the government, the process of implementation had not yet begun. The office seemed unaware of the government declaration. Eyeway counselor then helped Ajay with an alternate online application process to secure the concession card. Following the procedure suggested by Eyeway, Ajay has finally managed to secure his transport card through which he can avail the concessions as a person with blindness.