Fighting Discrimination

46 year old Harish Bansal Kumar is a visually impaired person from Moga, Punjab. He had poor vision right from his young age and was advised to wear glasses. With limited vision, Harish managed to complete his education from a mainstream school. He then went on to work at the Gram Panchayat catering to the needs of the people in the society and also assisted in the wholesale grocery store run by his elder brother.

In 2009, Harish had a complete loss of vision and was taken to various eye specialists, searching for a cure. To his dismay, there was nothing that could be done to restore his eyesight and the sudden alteration to his lifestyle was disconcerting. He faced challenges in mobility and was dependent on his wife to move out of his house. Therefore, he decided to enroll in a training program at the Vocational Rehabilitation Training Centre (VRTC) in Ludhiana, Punjab. There, he was given computer training for a year and simultaneously taught how to read Braille. During his time at the Centre, he volunteered to teach other blind students who had joined there. Currently, Harish works as an Office Assistant in Nagar Nigam Jalandhar, Punjab.

Harish had come to know about Eyeway through one of his acquaintances and had been in contact with the counselors since 2016. Recently, Harish had opened an account in one of the local banks in Moga where he faced difficulty in obtaining an ATM card. The bank authorities denied him one on grounds of his disability. Hearing this, the Eyeway counselor apprised him of the RBI guidelines under which visually impaired people are entitled to all banking services. Harish was asked to present RBI guidelines along with a circular issued by the Indian Banking Association (IBA) to the respective bank as proof. On following our advice, Harish was able to obtain an ATM card and cheque book for himself. He was also given guidance on the steps to apply for a UDID card and the counselor keeps him updated on the status of the application.