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Eyeway shows the way!

Eyeway shows the way!

Persons with vision impairment are often left behind socially and economically given the lack of awareness and access to resources from an early age. The Eyeway helpdesk aims to reach every blind and visually impaired person of the country to ensure access to information and knowledge to help them aspire for a better future. In this direction we recently aired four radio programs on topics ranging from education, to personal independence, banking and employment. These were aired on All India Radio across 16 cities. In response, we received many new calls from blind people seeking details about opportunities on living life with blindness.

Twenty-one-year-old Uzair Ahmed from Gonda, Uttar Pradesh completed Class 8 from a mainstream school but his deteriorating vision forced him to give up on education owing to the lack of information and resources. The Helpdesk counselor gave him hope of a better future by sharing details of various social security schemes and how he could benefit from them. He learnt about the importance of disability certificate, UDID card and disability pension. He was also apprised of various organizations that provide rehabilitation and vocational training free of cost. He also learnt about assistive devices that can aid in reading and writing, improving the prospects of education.

Similarly, 43-year-old Sukhbir Singh from Palimore, Jammu & Kashmir discontinued his education after Class 9 due to vision loss. He called the Eyeway Helpdesk to learn about mobility and personal independence. Having spent most part of his life at home, Sukhbir yearned to have an independent life, especially when he saw all his siblings happily married. The counselor connected him to an organization where he could learn mobility and pursue music classes simultaneously. Through regular follow ups, the counselor is motivating Sukhbir to start afresh.

Another caller, Pooran, a 36-year-old blind man from Pratapgarh, Rajasthan, completed Class 10 but lack of awareness about higher education for blind people kept him confined to his home. While he avails his monthly pension, he wants another source of income as the meagre amount of 750 Rs is not enough to meet his needs. The counselor is in the process of finding a local organization near his home where Pooran can enroll for a vocational training that will enable him to eke out a living.

The above examples are just a tip of the iceberg. There are still thousands of blind and visually impaired people across the country who are completely ignorant about the possibilities of living life with blindness. Services like Eyeway are critical to bridge this information void.

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