BENGALURU: In a traffic-heavy city like Bengaluru, where pedestrians struggle to cross the road, how challenging would the situation be for the visually challenged persons? That’s exactly what a non-profit organisation tried to show through its Blind Walk initiative, which aimed to sensitise citizens and promote eye donation, on Thursday.
During the walk, organised by Project Vision on the occasion of World Sight Day, visually impaired volunteers guided the other participants who were blind-folded. The event was conducted in 227 locations across five countries – Canada, China, Philippines, Sri Lanka and India – on same day. In Bengaluru, the walk stretched from St Joseph’s School, Museum Road, to Samsung Opera on Brigade Road.
Mathew P, a student of St Joseph’s school, said the experience helped him understand the hardships faced by the visually challenged. “We are struggling to walk just one kilometre with the blindfold. I understand the importance of eye donation now. If I can help someone get sight, it will be a great thing to do in life,” he said.
Jayanth Kumar, a founder member of Project Vision and deputy director, programme, AIFO India, said Blind Walk is special because it involves participation from both sighted and non-sighted persons. “I’m blind. Cornea transplantation can’t help me regain sight. But many other blind people can get sight through eye donation. We want people to experience the issues we face for a short span of time. Usually they guide us. Today, we guide them,” he said.
The walk ended with the participants pledging to donate their eyes. “We are appointing ‘vision ambassadors’, who will coordinate with the diseased person’s family for eye donation. We also aim to eliminate myths through this walk. There is no age limit for eye donation and people with any health condition can donate their eyes,” pointed out Fr George Kannanthanam, founder-director of Project Vision.