Mumbai, September 13, 2019
Sightsavers works in India towards social inclusion and inclusive education, along with their other initiatives. To support the initiative, Mr. Kabir Bedi, the Honorary Brand Ambassador of Sightsavers India took around six visually impaired teenager kids to iconic venues in Mumbai today. They experienced the city through Kabir Bedi’s voice and their understanding of what they make of the mighty sea and the historic structures.
The young bright visually impaired kids have already been breaking stereotypes by attending regular government schools with the support they receive under Sightsavers’ Inclusive Education programme. Sightsavers along with its honorary brand ambassador and internationally acclaimed actor Kabir Bedi took a journey in the cosmopolitan city of Bombay, by breaking barriers with blind children who’ve travelled from far-flung areas of India. The kids went to see the iconic Gateway of India with Mr. Bedi and also heard nuggets of history from him on the Taj Mahal Hotel and Gateway of India. Thereafter, they went to Xavier’s Resource Center for the Visually Challenged (XRCVC) to learn about technological innovations for the visually impaired. The kids really enjoyed using the devices meant for the visually impaired.
Sightsavers has been running its Inclusive Education Programme since the past two decades. The programme is being run in five states namely, Bihar, Jharkhand, Madhya Pradesh, Odisha and Rajasthan with district as unit of intervention.
Speaking at the event, Kabir Bedi Brand Ambassador of Sightsavers said, “When you lose one sense, other senses become more active. During the visit, I narrated stories behind the history of these iconic places to the kids. How far the sea goes to the horizon, as they smile brightly, feel the sand under their feet, probably for the first time, and the sound of waves lapping on the shore. This feeling is something which we cannot put into words. The visually challenged are often seen as separate citizens of society. The message that we are trying to convey through this initiative is that of social acceptance and inclusion along with creating an environment that is supportive for the learning of children with any form of disability.”
RN Mohanty, Chief Executive Officers, Sightsavers India said, “With this day long activity for the children, Sightsavers aims to promote a positive and enabling environment in schools, families as well as communities to support the holistic education of children with visual impairment. Enablement is facilitated by the availability of assistive devices and accessible educational material, provision of compensatory skills training, infrastructure accessibility and building education management and leadership among others. ”
Kiran, a 14-year-old visually impaired girl from remote part of Jharkhand said, “Sightsavers Inclusive Education Programme has given me a platform where I can grow, learn and be more aware of the world that I live in. Nobody now questions my ability to study just because I am blind. I am very happy that I could also meet other blind kids from Rajasthan here. I had so much to learn and have lots of stories to tell my friends back home.”