Thursday, 21 June 2012

A start

When I got the mail from AID India almost 4 months ago, about an opportunity to work with visually challenged girls in Bangalore, I was a little worried and excited at the same time. The only time that I had seen a visually challenged person in my life was in the streets, being assisted by someone.

It was soon decided that Shruti and I would be working in Bangalore with Deepa Academy from the 20th of June.  We’re close friends and were really looking forward to starting the internship.
Deepa Academy is a school which houses about 40 girls from 8th standard to the 10th standard, as well as girls who are currently pursuing higher education.
We had many conference calls with Mr Murali, who handles the interns for Deepa Academy.  Being IT students, it was decided that we would be helping the children with computers and would be making a manual for the same. At first I was totally blown away. I couldn’t understand how someone who couldn’t see, could figure out the position of the cursor on the screen to be able to use the computer. Today, as I write this blog I realize how naive I had been.
Another part of our internship would be interacting with the girls from 10th standard and helping them with their communication skills.

After days of planning and discussions, we reached the time when there was just a week left for us to leave for Bangalore. Excitement was at it’s peak, anxiety following right behind! But between these emotions, I made myself take up an exercise.
That day I tried to dress up with my eyes closed. I tied around my eyes a cloth that would prevent me from seeing anything even if I tried to.
The exercise ended with me having a lot of respect for those who spend their entire lives having a symbolic cloth tied around their eyes. I also ended up saying a silent prayer and thanking God for something that most of us take for granted, our sight.
Mr. Murali himself is partially blind, and works at IBM. I wouldn’t be honest if I said I wasn’t surprised hearing that he was working at such a well known company. I spoke to him about the challenges he faced. He laughed and told me, “Eye sight is simply a luxury. It is mere means of input to the brain. But absolutely nothing can stop a strong willed person! “
I know I would never forget his words.

With hope of being a helping hand and coming back with a wonderful experience and loads to learn, we look ahead.


  1. Mr. Murali's words are truly to live by!
    It is a big step that you guys have taken and I am sure the people close to you will be proud of you.
    Will be waiting for more details.
    Here's hoping you have an absolutely fantastic experience!

  2. Thank you!
    We're just hoping that we're able to make a valuable contribution in their lives.