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Ganesha’s story

'I’m now confident in getting around'

An example of this kind of exclusion is 39-year-old Ganesha Ram, who failed to get a job after losing his eye sight. Ganesha from Nagaur in North India went blind two years ago, and had to give up work as a labourer and farmer. The pressure to provide for his son, four daughters and dependent mother was immense. Money was so scarce his son had to be pulled out from school, and Ganesha also suffered from an acute depression at the frustration and confinement he felt as a blind man.

Ganesha was fortunate enough that one of Sighstavers’ partner organisations, Urmul Khejri Sansthan, were able to identify him through a survey of his community and provide support.

“I’m now confident in getting around, and in everyday tasks such as identifying money,” he told us.

Things were looking brighter for Ganesha and his family when he found out about a job under a local government scheme, that should guarantee employment for people in rural areas. Ganesha qualified as he comes from a small, remote village called Khudkali in the harsh dessert of northern Rajasthan.

He was turned down owing to poor eye sight.

A local disabled people’s group, also supported by Urmul Khejri Sansthan, contacted Ganesha and offered to help. They took his case to court, demanding that the local government employment scheme consider Ganesha again for the job he’d applied for.

They were successful! Ganesha was reconsidered for the role and is now happily working as a caretaker at a building site, which includes looking after the children of the workers there.

Ganesha’s story is a shining example of what can be achieved when blind and disabled people’s groups understand what their rights are and how to advocate for them. Being able to work with our partners to support groups like this means we can achieve long lasting change for the maximum amount of people.

 

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