Eyeway Stories

Navigating His Way Through Darkness

Thirty-two-year-old Navin Kumar Singh was born into a low-income family in Hajipur, Bihar. He had a slight eyesight issue at birth but nothing that seemed serious. Navin couldn’t finish his education due to financial constraints, and he started working from a young age to support the family. He took up odd jobs as a newspaper vendor, a hawker and so on, just to make ends meet.

But gradually Navin started to experience sight loss and in 2015, he lost vision in one eye due to Glaucoma. Worried for their 25-year-old boy, his parents took him to Shankar Nethralaya in Chennai, but his vision couldn’t be restored. And five years later, Navin lost the remaining vision and became totally blind.

This was shocking and frustrating for someone who had lived his life seeing. Fortunately, he came in touch with the Eyeway Helpdesk where he sought information on life with blindness. The counselor worked hard to motivate Navin so he could gain confidence to restart his life.

Navin seemed scared of stepping out of his house, and therefore he was advised to learn mobility skills with the help of a cane. But he couldn’t afford to buy one. The counselor put him in touch with National Federation for the Blind in West Bengal from where he acquired a white cane free of cost.

Navin was then slowly guided how to use it until he felt confident to move around independently.

Next, he needed some vocational training to start earning again and become financially independent. Eyeway recommended him to enroll for a training programme at the Blind Relief Association in Delhi.

For persons who lose their eyesight later in life, it’s imperative to not only steer them towards rehabilitation but also to motivate them that there’s light at the end of the tunnel. In the interactions with our counselor, Navin learned about many blind people who lost vision at a later age but managed to cope and restart a fresh chapter in life. Navin also hopes to become self-reliant soon.

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