Rohit Bhan, ndtv.com; Surendranagar, Gujarat
"When I was small and studied in a blind school I came across a number of girls who couldn't pursue their dreams due to poverty. I decided that very time that I will do something for such blind girls,” says Muktaben Dagli.
The result is ‘Pragna Chakshu Mahila Sevakunj’, an organisation run by Ms. Dagli and her husband Pankajbhai, both of whom are visually impaired.
‘Pragna Chakshu Mahila Sevakunj’ started 10 years ago in a tiny room as a project to help visually impaired girls become self-sufficient. Today, it takes care of 125 girls in nine tenements in Surendranagar, Saurashtra.
The Dagli couple help girls learn a variety of skills from computers to electrical repair work. Some courses are recognised by the Indian Technical Institute, Gandhinagar, Gujarat.
"When I came here three years ago, I was really feeling helpless but today I feel more confident," says Akanksha, a second-year student of commerce who is also learning computer skills.
Besides educational and professional training, the centre also teaches girls to cope with housework and finds suitable matches for them. So far the Daglis have got 40 girls married.
Impressed by the Daglis' spirit, donors from Mumbai funded a hostel on the outskirts of Surendranagar. The new hostel will mean better living conditions and a better future for more blind girls.