World Sight Day is a global day for putting the spotlight on vision impairment and blindness. The theme for World Sight Day 2020 is ‘Hope in Sight’ which makes the story of Vijeta Parmar a perfect tale for the day.
Vijeta is pursuing her Master’s degree in Political Science from Delhi University. She is sharp of mind and quick to pick up new concepts, a must for a Pol-Sci student, anyone would say. Of course, she has already completed her Bachelor’s in the same subject, successfully at that. Vijeta is also visually challenged from birth.
However, what makes Vijeta (and thousands like her) special is that she doesn’t consider her blindness an impairment. She sings, participates in sports and games and is an opinionated debater. She did her primary schooling in Dehradun and then got integrated education meant for PwD’s at the Sharp Memorial School for the Blind. This education gave her the aptitude for to join college. Persons with disabilities find job placement challenging. However, thanks to a CSR programme from NTPC specially designed for visually challenged persons, Vijeta is gainfully employed today.
Vijeta heard about the DU-NTPC Foundation while studying. It gave her access to a computer lab, and technology to convert textbooks into e-books. She pursued short term courses in computers from DU-NTPC Foundation which helped her clear the exam for a job at a nationalized bank. Today, Vijeta is working at the bank as a clerical staffer.
NTPC Foundation is helping countless young men and women like Vijeta through ICT centres for Visually Impaired Students. These centres have special hardware and software designed for the optically challenged, apart from a library and other services to help them pursue mainstream education at various universities and schools including Delhi University.
Another CSR programme changing the lives of the sightless is Ananda from Omega Healthcare. The company has collaborated with NGO Vision Empower, which aims to make STEM education accessible for the visually challenged.
As part of the CSR programme, employees at Omega Healthcare receive special training to teach children from schools for the blind. Volunteers learn tactile methods of teaching along with other exercises to understand the life of a visually impaired child, and also worked on behavioural change. After their training is complete, the corporate volunteers teach Science and Maths to children between 10-17 years via best practices.
World Sight Day has many such opportunities for volunteers and corporates to give wings to the visually challenged citizens of our nation.