Raising aspirations

Blind and visually impaired people in our country are left to depend on their families for every decision about their lives. The result of which is often neglect and uncertain future. Budhaji Niguda, 28-year-old visually impaired person from Thane district of Maharashtra has been a victim of such neglect by his family.

Budhaji was never enrolled in school by his parents. He was overprotected and not allowed to move beyond certain places resulting in his confinement. After his parents passed away, he had to move in with his uncle’s family where he carried out his chores but depended on them for financial assistance. With no education or life skills, Budhaji lacked direction to live life on his terms.

An Eyeway promo on radio brought a ray of hope and Budhaji called the Eyeway toll-free number to inquire about government schemes he could avail for financial assistance. As one of the frequent enquiries from our callers, our counsellors understand their underlying need for seeking financial assistance is rooted in the desire to live a dignified life. While he was apprised about various schemes available in the disability category, there was also a need to rehabilitate this young man and put him through life skills and vocational training so he could become employable in the future.

As a necessary step, the counsellor also guided him to apply for UDID (Unique Disability Identity Card), explaining its importance in availing schemes as well as opportunities of education and employment. He was also suggested to enrol in rehabilitation and training programmes at National Association for the Blind in Mumbai.

Further, the counsellor also informed him about Tata Agriculture and Horticulture Training Centre in, Walsad, Gujarat where visually impaired people are given vocational training for employment opportunities.

Besides raising his career aspirations, Budhaji has also benefitted from the counselling on a personal front. As he and his family assumed that visually impaired people were not eligible for marriage, they were given various examples of married blind people with successful careers. He was counselled on the need to become financially independent before committing to marriage.

Budhaji who is currently undergoing the training at NAB has taken the first step towards his empowerment and is grateful to Eyeway team for the opening new doors to his life.