National Association for the Blind has left a significant mark in the lives of many visually impaired as well as sighted people. Their contribution through the introduction of training centers for the visually impaired has given hope to many people. Their aim to make a difference in the lives of Vis is a testament in Mumbai and on a national level too.
It all began on 19th January, 1952, when Mr. B. G. Kher moved a resolution at the First All India Conference for the Blind held in Mumbai. This led to the founding of the National Association for the Blind (India). With an executive council of 19 members and the backing of workers and supporters of the blind, Barrister Rustom Merwanji Alpaiwalla was appointed the first President of NAB (India). This set the ball rolling, which would in years provide boundless support and service to the blind.
“We aim to provide socio-economic rehabilitation of the visually challenged in the mainstream through education, training and employment. We take up advocacy against all types of individual and structural discrimination and ensure full legal capacity. NAB assures accessibility to the world of information”, says a spokesperson for National Association for Blind India.
NAB’s aim is to help the VI gain an equal footing with the sighted. They hope to create a world where every blind person can live life to its full potential. Towards this aim, they focus on empowering these individuals through growth and development training programs.
The Committee for Advancement of the Status of Blind Women aims at offering training and earning opportunities to blind women on a “earn while you learn” basis. This Centre has been successful in the socio-economic rehabilitation of hundreds of blind women in Maharashtra.
The NAB trained staff organizes eye examination of certain groups with state-of-the-art ophthalmic equipment. So far, the department has screened the eyes of 5,04,577 children and 1,03,825 adults. The New Activity School distributes about 500 braille kits every year to schools for the blind and IE implementing agencies in India, with an expenditure of about Rs.6,82,500. So far, over 15,000 braille kits have been distributed.
The organization conducts several welfare activities for visually challenged persons, and persons with multiple disabilities are being continued with financial support from Service Organizations and Well Wishers. The Department of Rehabilitation conducts a course that makes a blind person realize the Three A’s – Accept blindness, Adjust to blindness and Achieve despite being blind. This cost-free training course is held by the department twice a year.
NAB has pioneered employment and placement service for the blind in India. Dr Miss Helen Keller was the one who laid the foundation stone of the NAB Workshop for the Blind.
Currently, NAB India is raising funds for COVID 19 relief service for the Visually Challenged. All contributions will be used to provide monetary assistance for the poor and daily wage earners, medical assistance to covid 19 affected blind persons and special grocery kits.
NAB has faithfully served the VI community for several years now and will continue to do so. They have received much support from people all over the country and around the world too. All their VI trainees graduate from their training programs with a tangible hope for the future.
For more information, please visit: https://nabindia.org