In the rapidly increasing population, there are millions of people with vision impairment. We, the visually impaired people are striving and putting our efforts to make a smooth way for ourselves. We don’t believe that we are less than anybody else. Rather God has given us an opportunity to experience the world in a different manner. I agree that things and situations sometimes get extremely difficult for us but please don’t sympathize us for this. I am not disagreeing that we don’t expect anything. We do. Yes! Our visually impaired community expects a few things from a normal person in the society but don’t be mistaken that we are pleading for sympathy. Today, through this article, I want to bring a change in our society’s mind-set. Read this article and give a thought to your mentality towards us.
I know, you are curious that what we expect; what our expectations are; right? Well, even today, people think that we aspire much more than what we deserve or what we are capable of. Being a visually challenged person, I believe that majority of blind community expects a chance to beam, not pity or sympathy. We are not demanding extra advantage or favors; no, not at all! What we are demanding for is our say to be acknowledged. Unfortunately, even today, there are instances where visually challenged persons are looked upon as ‘miniature soul’. If you don’t believe, question yourself, “What is the first thing that popped out when you heard about a visually challenged person for the first time?” Was it, “This person is challenged but his spirit will make him stand out of the crowd.” or “Oh, poor fellow! How would he/she survive with normal people?” And the answer is right there before most of you. It has to be accepted that it is not the body that makes us disable but it’s our mind-sets.
When I walk or do anything, I don’t want the other person to look at it as a ‘special case’. Rather I feel proud when the same act or thing is acknowledged as an ordinary action or thing. Yes, our deeds should reflect our spirit, not the tag ‘visually challenged’. We don’t need a spot-light to outline our actions but all what we need is a platform to showcase our ideas, talents and skills. The problem is that we are judged even before we execute our actions or ideas.
Where many people still consider us burden or ‘different creatures’, still there are people, organizations and NGOs who value the spirit, capability and talent of people with vision impairment. It is a good thing that many people today are coming up with support for blind community and doing tremendously great work. For example, NGOs like Umang Foundation, Eyeway, and Icareinfo etc are supporting, encouraging and fighting for the visually impaired people at every step. Such people and organizations are showcasing our abilities which get crushed somewhere amidst the lofty and hollow talks of conservative mind-sets and narrow thinking.
If one really wishes to make the path of visually impaired people smoother, then try to comprehend their efforts and deeds. If you find visually impaired people making their way through the crowd, take a minute and assist them in finding their way. We all need assistance at one time or the other. And same is the case with our community. Only the difference is, the assistance provided to us is high-lighted with the tag ‘Help such people and you will be blessed.’
‘Everyone is bound by disabilities, perhaps, some are visible, some aren’t!’ This is the line which can be a game changer in altering the conservative mind sets!