Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Podar students meet `differently-abled' persons

Visually challenged people are also called `differently abled' people, said Dr. Narayan B. Iyer. Every individual has the capacity and ability to perform good in his life. We are fortunate enough to get eye-sight, but there are millions in this country who are blind. India has the largest number of blind population. Of the 37 million across the globe, 15 million are in India, but 75% of which are controllable, said Dr. Narayan B. Iyer, National Co-ordinator of Indian Development Foundation.

Dr. Iyer was addressing a group of 200 students from Podar International School, Santacruz (W), Mumbai who visited the M.N. Banajee Industrial Home for the Blind at Jogeshwari West as part of their social responsibility programme. Dr. Sharad Nayampally and Mr. Sanjay Waghmare from IDF explained the various activities being organised at the Centre.

Indian Development Foundation a leading national NGO committed to health, education and rural development, organised a social trip for the Podar International School students to The M.N. Banajee Industrial Home for the Blind at Jogeshwari on 20th Feb.

Mrs. Sarala Gavane led a group of 200 students from her school along with a couple of teachers to the Industrial Home for the Blind. Under the CAS (Creativity, Action and Service) programme students from IB Schools have to take part in social service activities, said Ms. Sarala Gavane, CAS Co-ordinator of Podar School. We are happy that our students are getting good exposure to the social programmes and getting to learn things with the help of IDF, said the teachers of Podar.

Students from 5th, 6th and 7th standards arrived in the morning hours of Wednesday at the MNB Industrial Home for the Blind to see for themselves the industrial training that is being imparted to the visually challenged people. There are several who are regularly working in the Home. Some stay here while there are people who travel from different parts of Mumbai and work here. In these days, when it is difficult to get a job for the abled person, one can understand the conditions of the visually challenged person, said Mr.Suryavanshi, incharge in the Home. People in this Home are professional in making handicrafts, bedsheets, towels, hangers, candles, dusters and they also weave wire-meshed chairs, explained Mr. Suryavanshi. We also run a computer centre for the low-vision people and totally blind people, he added.

Podar students went round the Home and were wonderstruck to see the beautiful products made there. Students were amazed to see the professionalism and creativity of the visually challenged people. I was happy to see the cute and colourful candles made by the people here, said a student. We congratulate all the `differently abled' persons and wish them good luck, said the visiting students. We learnt that the programme used by the visually challenged people to learn computer is JAWS. What an amazing thing to see them using computer and sending emails, the Podar students expressed.

Dr. Sharad Nayampally made the famous quote of Helen Keller saying `the most pathetic person in the world is someone who has sight, but no vision'.

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