“It is better to have a vision without eyesight than to have eyesight without any vision”, the words on the walls of National Association of Blind (NAB) put me into a state of wonder for a few minutes. I along with a group of colleagues visited the blind school at RK Puram (Delhi) to represent the Community Impact Month at our organisation. I underwent a plethora of emotions, from being cheerful to sad to being motivated within a span of 4 hours. We met around 20 blind children who were so full of life, that they made me question my ability to be content in life.
We played a few games with them, sang songs and ate lunch together. A few of them were great actors, a few great singers and almost all of them were super intelligent. I do not think that at the age of twelve, I knew the name of the heaviest flower along with its weight or the name of the smallest bird and its weight. They were not just geniuses with science, but also had knowledge of cricket, movies and history. They took super pride and fun in bombarding us with such questions to which we hardly had any answers. I am mostly a bad loser but I would love to lose to them repeatedly in such quizzes for the sound of their euphonious laughter.
While I was distributing chocolates to them, a couple of girls asked my name and after we introduced ourselves to each other, Usha with a big smile said, “Didi, you have a nice name”. Babita joined and said, “Didi you have a really nice name”. Now, look at the politeness and their efforts to make others smile. There is a lot to learn from these children; primarily, one does not always need a reason to be happy. Secondly, to be satiated with whatever you have in life. Whenever I crib and cry for things I do not have in my life, my mum always tells me, “Look at those who survive with so much less in life and you will realise you fret unnecessarily”. This may sound cliché, but when you visit such a place and absorb all the positive vibes, you would believe in it for some time at least.
Let me talk a bit about Anil, he is himself visually impaired and comes to NAB every weekend to help these children in whatever means he can. He has a classic sense of humour. He in a light note mentioned, sometimes people ask us “You must see everything as black and dark”. To which he usually replies, “I don’t know what is black or dark, never seen it.” He also gave us mobility training, wherein with our blindfolds on, we had to use a stick to walk from one building to another. Trust me, as soon as you wear those blindfolds, your mind will be full of fear. Thoughts like, what if I fall, what if I hit a tree, hit someone else with my stick, or even worse collide with another person, passed through my mind. The pavement included special tactile paths so that when their stick touches that path, the sound is different from that of a normal road. (You would notice the same path in all metro stations) Through touch and sound, we had to follow that path to the other building. It was difficult for me to trust my power of hearing and I continuously used my feet to know if I could feel something different underneath. Their sense of touch and sound is much stronger than ours can ever be. As soon, as the drill was over, the first words that Anil said touched my heart, “How did it feel to be like us for five minutes?” and he laughed out loud after this.
Now, do not feel sad about these kids. God has made sure to gift them in one way or the other. Let me put it in simple words- Do not ever make them feel that they are disable, it hurts them the most. A colleague mentioned to me beforehand that we should not try to help them unless they ask for it. I made a mistake and I regret it. I accompanied a boy for lunch, and while we were walking towards the dining hall on first floor, I thought he would hit a pole and instinctively put my hands on his shoulders. He very sternly said, “I know, I can walk.” My intentions were not to make him feel him incapacitate in any manner, but I did offend him unknowingly.
They are an exuberant bunch of children and true warriors who need encouragement. Let us applaud their strength and courage. If you want to participate to keep their ebullience alive, help them with their education. You do not have to donate money; NAB has recording studios at its office in RK Puram, Sector 5. All you have to do is lend your voice and audio record the books. You and I have the eyesight but let us all have the Vision…
He is the true hero, real brave heart
Master from him, the undismayed art
Gifted he is, with superlative geniuses
Make sure you nurture his finesses
He may not see, can definitely intuit
Bring him hues, he was unable to sight…