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Enduring through hardships

Access to good education can level the playing field for persons with disabilities. Once skilled, they can take up mainstream opportunities of employment which can further enable them to lead independent and dignified lives.
Unfortunately, the quality of education and training meted out to students at various special schools across the country, is not up to the mark.
26-year-old Rajendra Satpute is a resident of Amravati, Maharashtra. He lost his eye sight as a baby, but his parents accepted his condition and wanted to educate him. Rajendra went to a school for the blind in Nagpur, Katol and finally in Amravati, barely managing to complete Class X. The lack of proper hygiene, care and facilities made it difficult for him to continue in these institutions.
He decided to move to Mumbai and join a vocational training course which would help him generate some income. However, he pursued Class XII through open schooling because he knew any job would require that as a minimum qualification. But he found it hard to study on his own alongside his day job as a massage therapist, failing in his attempt to clear the exam.
The onset of Covid-19 affected his livelihood. New social distancing norms reduced the demand for a masseur and once again he was back to struggling in his native place. He wrote poems as a hobby and one of his teachers suggested him to pursue writing as a profession. He desired to publish his poetry but had no means of penning them down.
As a person with blindness, he relied on a sighted person to help him write. Even while appearing for school exams, it wasn’t easy to find a scribe, and he sought help from the Maharashtra Helpdesk.
Eyeway put him in touch with an organization that assured him of a writer’s services. Our counselor also guided him on ways of developing a personal network to create a clientele for his massage services. In addition, Rajendra was apprised about social welfare schemes that could help him with a loan to start his own massage clinic.
Despite all hardships, Rajendra refuses to give up. Having lost out on education, he is determined to acquire new skills and hone the existing ones to become gainfully employed.
Team Eyeway
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