Common folk get a taste of blindness

World Sight Day

Participants at the World Blind Walk from St Joseph School to Brigade road (Samson) circle organised by Y’ S Men International in Bengaluru on Thursday, 10 October, 2019. Photo by Janardhan B K

How does it feel to be blind and walk along a traffic-choked road?

Students, volunteers and enthusiasts took a blind-folded walk in the city to experience it for themselves at the sixth edition of Blind Walk, organised on Thursday by Project Vision to mark World Sight Day.

Several visually challenged persons guided the blindfolded volunteers in the walk, which began from St Joseph's school and culminated at the Samsung Opera House, where participants took a pledge to propagate the message of eye donation.

Project Vision organised the walk in 200 locations in Sri Lanka, China, the Philippines and Canada, besides holding the event in other locations in India.  

The first Blind Walk began in 2014 on MG Road and nearly 750 such walks have been held so far in several educational institutions, companies and public places.

Speaking during the walk, Rajendra K, a member of the team that organised the event, said a country as small as Sri Lanka is exporting corneas to other countries, while India is still struggling to meet the domestic demand.

Jayanth Kumar, another member, said talks were on with the state government to get financial aid for a hospital, an educational institute and rehabilitation centre for those with visual impairment. "This is being set up at Gauribidanur and awaits completion of the process," Kumar said.

Though the walk was organised to give common people a taste of what it feels like to confront daily challenges with blindness, participants walked on the street despite the availability of TenderSURE footpaths. This led to slowing down of traffic on St Marks Road.

When asked, organisers said the footpath could not be used due to fears that participants could be injured due to obstructions.

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