Eyeway Stories

Seeking Gainful Employment

Twenty-three-year-old Arbaaz Patel was born to a poor family in Mumbai. His father is a daily wage labourer and mother is a homemaker. His elder brother is partially blind.

Born sighted, Arbaaz suddenly began to lose vision when he was studying in Class 7. He was then enrolled in a special school for the blind in Mumbai. Despite the partial blindness, he managed to complete his graduation from a mainstream college. He even acquired computer skills using a screen reading software, which enabled him to read and write independently.

Even after securing a degree and computer proficiency, he lacked the guidance and opportunities for employment. One of his friends redirected him to the Eyeway Helpdesk to seek support.

The Eyeway counsellor apprised Arbaaz of the various job options available to persons with vision impairment and the many possibilities of leading a fulfilling life despite disability. He was put in touch with an organization which was looking to hire someone in the role of a mobilizer.

Arbaaz applied and aced the interview. He is now gainfully employed with a non-profit organization working for the welfare of persons with disabilities.

India is home to almost 20 percent of the global blind population and yet we have limited education and employment opportunities available for visually impaired people. The corporate sector lacks the understanding of how to employ persons with vision impairment in mainstream roles. But Arbaaz’s story is an example of how right information and support can lead to an independent life with dignity.

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