World Blind Day observed in the city
It was a sight to behold - an unending line of people in blindfolds walking shoulder to shoulder down the usually busy stretch of Panbazar - from Food Villa to Don Bosco School. More than 200 people participated in the Blind Walk organised on the occasion of World Blind Day (12th October), guided by fifty visually impaired people. The walk was supported by Rotary International, Lions International, G Plus, Rotaract Club of Guwahati Luit, FAsCE India, Art of Living, NavJan Trust, MATRI, CRI, Necha, Montfort School & Don Bosco School.
Conducted as a part of the ‘World Blind Walk’ organised by a Bangalore-based organisation called Project Vision in 250 locations across the world, the walk was flagged off by Siddhartha Bhattacharya, M.L.A – Guwahati East who accompanied the participants till the end. Apart from major cities of India, the walk was organised in the US, China, Sri Lanka and Nepal.
Father Joseph, Head of Project Vision (North East Region), said India faces a severe shortage of corneal donations. “In a year, there is a need for 2, 00,000 corneas, while only 26,000 get donated,” he said.
The walk aimed to encourage people to become eye donors in the form of 'vision ambassadors,' who could act as a point of contact when a death occurred. “Someone needs to speak to the family and coordinate the donation process, a vision ambassador would fulfil this role," said Tushar Jalan, Head of Operations & PR, Blind Walk Guwahati 2017.
Vijay, 40, who lost his eyesight in his late teens, was one of the members leading the walk said, "Being led by us gives sighted persons a chance to step into our shoes for a day." The participants converged at Don Bosco School Guwahati where they took a pledge to donate their eyes, followed by cultural performances by Montfort School/Jyoti Niketan School, felicitation of supporting organisations & the program ended with the national anthem.
Guwahatians displaying placards to create awareness on World Blind Day
Visually imapaired taking part in the blind walk
Blind walk 2017