19 year old Tanishk (name changed) lives in Panipat, Haryana with his mother and sister. Both Tanishk and his sister have low vision. While Tanishk is 80% blind, his sister has 30% vision. Their mother works in an Anganwadi to support the family and ensure that her children get a good education.
Tanishk managed to study up till Class 7 in a regular school but due to deteriorating vision he had to drop out and join a special school after that. He has now completed matriculation from CBSE Open Board and is studying in Class XI. Tanishk has undergone computer training and is well verse with assistive technology. He wishes to study further and pursue a career in banking. His sister is pursuing her BA (Correspondence) from Delhi University and is in her first year. Initially, Tanishk called the Eyeway Helpdesk to inquire for jobs his sister could take up alongside her BA. Our counselor had shared some openings at the time.
But more recently, Tanishk called with two banking complaints, respectively faced by him and his sisters in different banks. Tanishk was being denied an ATM card by SBI Bank on the grounds of his blindness. We shared the RBI and IBA circular with Tanishk which state that visually impaired people cannot be denied any banking facilities due to their disability. Even after Tanishk shared the documents with the Bank manager and officials, they refused to issue him an ATM card. Eyeway counselor then spoke to the bank manager to help resolve the issue. As a result, Tanishk was duly issued an ATM card.
Their woes didn’t end at that. His sister was denied an ATM card too, by Punjab National Bank. And this time too the bank officials refused to take into consideration the existing guidelines by RBI and IBA. We are in the process of following up with the bank. We will continue to chase the matter until Tanishk’s sister gets her ATM card and access to any other banking facility she requires.
It’s ironical that Tanishk and his sister are facing discrimination by the same sector he wishes to join one day. Who knows he might be brushing shoulders with these very people in the days to come!