Vicky Darji – (21, graduate in History, visually impaired, Blind)
“The most challenges we ‘blind’ people face in Mumbai is negotiating crowded places. However, people are by and large good and helpful. I have realised, if we have a positive outlook towards life and people, we will find life and people are by and large good and helpful towards us. Our attitude towards others will reflect/define our experiences with them.”
Vicky is blind since birth. He resides at Mumbai Central with his two siblings and parents. When I went to meet him at Victoria Memorial school for the Blind at Tardeo, his mother had accompanied him and she accompanies him to school daily. Seeing them approach from a distance I could see they shared a very good friendship, they were chatting with each other happily while she led him to school for his computer literacy course.
Vicky is fond of Maratha history, from the six subjects he has studied in history. I asked him why he liked it the most, he replied – “Because I could understand it easily.” I prodded him further, -hat other things in life, about our lives, has he understood as easily/fast as his favorite subject Maratha history?
Vicky replied – “Maine toh life mein ek cheez aasani se seekhi hai, ki humme life mein adjust karna chahiye. I have understood this aspect of our lives easily, that we have to adjust in life to get along happily. Especially when it comes to family. A good thing about my family is that they have never made me feel I am in any way different from them, or abnormal. They have always encouraged me.”
Moreover, he told me, considering the blind navigate the world by feeling/sensing things with their sense of touch, the people they become very close to they can recognise by simply touching their hands or face. And the person he has held the hand most and felt the face of most often, and loves to, is his Mumma, Mother; He addresses his mother as ‘Mumma”.
Vicky – “The most challenges we blind people face in Mumbai is at crowded places. It becomes very hard for us to navigate crowds. But people are by and large helpful in Mumbai, moreover, its not that people are less or more helpful anywhere else, but I think we have to have a positive outlook towards life and people and I believe if we have that then life and people are by and large good and helpful. Our attitude towards others defines our experiences with them.”
Last, but not the least, before we parted I asked him to name me three things/people he would love to see first, if by medicine or miracle he can get his sight.
He replied, “1) First, and naturally so, I would like to see my mom and dad; 2) Then I want to see all those people who have encouraged me, supported me in my goals and ambitions, like my teachers, friends, strangers; 3) I want to see legendary singer Mohammad Rafi; 4) Natural places like the village environment, where there is open land.
Another thing I have realised, …. I believe that people are by and large good and helpful. If we have a positive outlook towards life and people, we will find life and people are by and large good and helpful towards us. Our attitude towards others will reflect/define our experiences with them.”
Thank you dear Suman, Ritu, Akshita, Ankita, Priyanka, Amit/Priyanka, Niraj, Minnie, Brijesh, Sabira, Laila, Siddharth, me 😊 for assisting yet another visually impaired person receive a government (and corporate world) recognized certification in computer literacy.
We decided to teach computers to the visually impaired, so that they can navigate the online world (a world they cannot navigate with their sense of touch) with the help of a software that narrates to them in audio all the text matter that appears on the screen/monitor they working on. It will help them get better jobs.