Help at hand for visually-impaired- DNA- By Rito Paul
When Sushmeeta Bubna reached for a bottle of medicine kept beside her ailing mother’s hospital bed, the last thing she expected was a sharp rebuke from the nurse on duty.
“You’ll drop the bottle,” chided the nurse. She said it, because Bubna is almost completely blind. Bubna is the founder-director of Voice Vision, an NGO for the visually-impaired. On the occasion of its 12th anniversary, Voice Vision organised a first-aid training workshop for the visually impaired at HK Management College in Jogeshwari on Sunday. Approximately 70 visually-impaired people attended the workshop.
There are primarily two ways in which Indian society treats its visually challenged members, according to Bubna. Either there is not enough concern and rampant callousness or there is too much concern, bordering on condescension. Both are insensitive and hurtful.
“There is this idea that a blind person can’t even help his own self. I want to challenge that perception. Through this workshop, visually-impaired people will develop the skills to be independent and productive members of society,” said Bubna.
Dr Ajay Desai, a director of Life Supporters, said: “We’ve been conducting such sessions for corporates and educational institutions for the last eight years. Generally, we have a video that we play where the participants learn the different first-aid techniques by watching the video. In this case, of course, that wasn’t possible, so we first play the speech portion of the video, after which our volunteer doctors assist the participants in actually going through the various first-aid operations,” he said.