This blogpost is written by Gulzar Mir, has completed his English Honours from St Stephens College, Delhi University and is currently applying for MA in Sociology at JNU. Please note that Eyeway's Blog entries reflect the opinions of the author and contributors, meant to encourage debate and discussion, and not Score Foundation's official policy position.
A few days ago I came across a person who made me think and look at the world differently. He wore a nice pair of spectacles, a colorful tie, sharply creased clothes, tightly buckled shoes and a confident smile. As he passed by, I asked him out of curiosity “What do you do sir?”. He softly replied, “I work in PNB as an assistant Manager”. Since I myself possess a dream to find a suitable job in the banking sector, this prompted me to inquire, “Sir even I want to work in banking sector, could you please suggest some tips to crack the exam” I said. Nonchalantly he provided me with a huge amount of information. In the meanwhile he said “please let me know when bus number 507 arrives”. His request left me bewildered. No matter how much I thought I could not understand the reason behind the unusual request.
I casually said “OK sir”. Before I could ask him anymore questions I saw bus number 507 approaching and I said “Sir your bus is here”. He quietly slipped his hand into his bag and what I saw shook me from deep inside. He took out a white cane and boarded the bus conveniently. At the time I could not believe my eyes, the smart looking man who worked at PNB was blind!
This incident haunted me for a long time afterwards, and made me think over and over. So to know more about blindness, I started with a small investigation that led me to a goldmine of information.
A few days ago I came to know about SCORE FOUNDATION and its initiatives for empowering the visually challenged persons in India. I went through a 13-part TV program called “NAZAR YA NAZARIYA” which I believe is one of the best initiatives of SCORE FOUNDATION because it is a major step towards the sensitization of common people. “NAZAR YA NAZARIYA” throws light on many social stigmas, stereotypes and prejudices pertaining to VISUAL DISABILITY.
This program is based on true stories of visually challenged achievers in the country. The themes showcased in the program cover almost all important aspects that play a vital role in the life of a visually challenged person like education, employment, business, art, marriage, laws and rights alternatively.
Nassiruddin Shah (a renowned film actor) introduces the program while Harsh Chaya hosts the show. As the show begins, very soon we get a precise idea about the goals of the show. Mr. Shah clearly points out the strengths of the visually challenged people and simultaneously the weaknesses of the society that lacks the potential to come forward and recognize the efforts put up by the visually challenged persons from time to time.
As I went along the show I came across the story of a girl who was born blind. She was almost poisoned because not only was she a girl, she was blind too, and we know how our society looks upon girl child. This story takes us through the struggle of a mother and a dedicated blind girl. One more story that captivated me was that a woman who was not given her desired post, which led her to lodge a case against the organization. After five long years the court’s verdict came in her favor.
Likewise there are many more true stories that give us a glimpse of the condescending attitude of the society on one hand, and on the other hand an unforgettable lesson taught through the successful stories of visually challenged persons.
It is a must watch program not merely for the sake of true stories but it takes us out of our comfort zones and makes us believe that VISION is not the problem, it is the PERCEPTION.