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Blind man can't guide another, really?

Bangalore, Aug 24, 2014, DHNS : 1:48 IST

Eye-opener of a walk

People walk blindfolded with the help of a visually  challenged person at the Blind Walk on Sunday. DH Photo
It was an event to open the eyes of fellow citizens to the daily struggle of those who have to navigate without a vision. And, what a way it was to make them meander around blindfolded.

The Bangalore Blind Walk, organised by Project Vision, perhaps went on to disprove the parable ‘a blind man cannot guide another.’

Hundreds took part in the walk that started at the MG Road Metro station and culminated at the Bal Bhavan on the Cubbon Park premises.

The volunteers and the blind persons were divided into groups. Each group was led by a blind person and followed buy five to seven blindfolded persons and a volunteer to instruct them on what to watch out for.

The walk coincided with the National Eye Donation Fortnight. The aim, say the organisers, is to create awareness about eye donation besides sensitising the public about the daily woes of the visually impaired, who can sense the obstacles only by means of a touch or the white cane.

While the ones who were blindfolded were scared to put their step forward, the ones without were completely confident and led others.

Kushal (name changed), 15, who is blind by birth and is associated with the Karnataka Welfare Association for the Blind, led a group of seven blindfolded persons. He said, “We walk like this every day, but my blindness is no roadblock for my vision in life. I want to work as a news reader in a TV channel,” he said.

Megha, Prateek, Sahathi and Pawan, all students in an engineering college in Electronics City, had come to participate after their professor encouraged them to do so. They said, “It is amazing to know how the ones without eyes walk every day on the roads, while we are needing instruction at every step.”

As 200-250 people walked on the pavements alongside the Namma Metro Station, the commuters and onlookers were completely in awe. Many of them instantly volunteered to walk blindfolded.

Says Father George Kannanthanam, director of Project Vision, “One third of the world’s blind persons are in our country. Yet, when it comes to eye donation, the numbers are miniscule.”

Awareness is also being created as to how the ‘104’ helpline (‘Arogya Vani’) can be utilised for eye donation. Anyone from anywhere in the State can call the number for eye donation and get assistance in contacting the nearest eye bank.

Prasanna Kumar Pincha, Chief Disability Commissioner of India, flagged off the Blind Walk. Organisations such as Karnataka Welfare Association for the Blind, Bangalore Malayali Catholic Association and Ramana Maharshi Blind Academy participated.

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