Willing to go the extra mile

18-year-old Sachin Kumar was born blind in district Basti of Uttar Pradesh. Like many visually impaired Eyeway callers, his family and community had little awareness and limited resources to raise a blind child. His father, a farmer had four other children to feed, leaving him no time to think about the future of his blind son.

Sachin, however, was an enthusiastic boy who made the most of what was available to him. He loved listening to radio programmes where he picked up ways to communicate with people around him. Listening to jokes and informative content over the radio made him happy.

When Sachin’s elder brother started working as a teacher, he gifted him a basic keypad phone. As he learnt to use the phone on his own, it opened ways for the young boy to the outside world. He got to know about Hamari Vaani, a social media platform for persons with disabilities that uses voice-based communication on ordinary phones, to create awareness and to connect all the stakeholders reach the unreached and scale the livelihood opportunities for persons with disabilities. Through Hamari Vaani, Sachin also learnt about the Eyeway Helpdesk.

When he called our toll free number, Sachin had no idea that visually impaired people could pursue education as sighted people did. He wanted to know if there was a way he could earn a living for himself and be independent. The Eyeway counselor recommended a yearlong rehabilitation and training programme through Blind Relief Association in Delhi. He was also counselled to pursue his Class 10 through the open board that would help him secure better job opportunities in future.

Sachin who has already joined the training, is ecstatic on starting a new life and is grateful to Eyeway for showing him the way forward. His family is relieved that Sachin can pursue his dreams despite the vision impairment.