Shahid Dar, a 22-year-old resident of Bandipore district in Jammu and Kashmir, was born with an eye disorder called Nystagmus affecting his vision up to 30%. Three years later, he met with an accident that resulted in complete vision loss. His parents showed no interest in educating him and provided very little support. However, his brother understood the importance of education and decided to enroll him at a local school.
At school, Shahid faced physical and emotional abuse at the hands of other students and teachers. He was constantly discouraged to attend school due to his inability to move around independently. However, his enthusiasm to learn more kept him moving forward. With the help of a scribe, he was able to appear for his exams.
But due to lack of support from his family, Shahid was forced to discontinue his studies after completing Class 12. He came to know about Eyeway through a workshop conducted by HELP Foundation on International Day for Persons with Disabilities. He called up the Eyeway Helpdesk to seek information on institutes that provide BA courses in Kashmir and whether it was possible for him to pursue his graduation. The counselor apprised him of various colleges as well as the courses offered and even guided him with his choices.
Having received proper counseling and adequate information by the Eyeway Kashmir center, Shahid was able to enroll in a Bachelors program in his district. He also informed us that he’s been acknowledged and appreciated by the faculty members as well as peers for his ability to make presentations in class independently. He is encouraged by the way he is perceived in his college, as a person with caliber and not simply someone with a vision impairment.