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Gaining confidence for independent living

Twenty-three-year-old Vikas Karate was born totally blind to a poor family in Jalna district of Maharashtra. His paternal family only displayed apathy for the little boy, almost wanting to get rid of him many times. But Vikas’ mother made up for the love and care that his father never showed.
Due to lack of awareness and stigma associated with blindness, Vikas was seen as a mere burden on the family. He was confined to his home and never saw the insides of a school until he turned 10.
It was the intervention of a local social worker who educated his mother about provisions for schooling children with vision impairment. Vikas was then sent off to a special school for the blind where he learned to read and write using Braille script. He was also imparted mobility skills so he could move around independently using a white cane. Vikas successfully completed Class X and came to Mumbai to pursue his higher studies.
But being alone in a city, without any support from family or much financial security, he faced a lot of challenges. He struggled to find a place to stay or understand what skills were required to carve out an independent living.
His friends then put him in touch with the Eyeway Helpdesk where the counselor offered varied solution to his problems. While the counselor searched for a hostel for blind boys where Vikas could stay, he also looked for a donor who could offer some monetary assistance to this young boy desirous of pursuing education.
The Eyeway counselor advised Vikas to enroll in typing classes as well as pursue other skills training that would help him secure a job after completing his studies. Following the recommendations, Vikas has successfully completed his first year of graduation, and he is also undergoing a Maharashtra State Certificate training in Information Technology. He is also regularly taking typing classes that will help him acquire any office job in the private or government sector.
Vikas is in constant touch with the Mumbai Helpdesk, seeking suggestions, sharing challenges and applying solutions wherever needed.
Team Eyeway

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