BANGALORE: Twenty-five-year-old Mohammad Rafi wants to pursue his high school and for once, his disability has not been a barrier between him and his dreams. He has completed a one-year programme at Rehabilitation and Basic training Centre (RBTC) at The National Association For the Blind, a rehabilitation and training centre situated in Jeevanbhimangar.
Rafi hails from Kolar district. Although he had low vision in class one, he lost his eye sight completely when he was in class 7. Hence he could not pursue his studies. His father died in 2003 pushing his family into poverty. Poverty and blindness diminished his self confidence all together. It was then that the National Association For the Blind came to his rescue. He said, “I have learnt so many things in this one year’s programme and I want to put it to use. I want to get a job and also finish my incomplete high school learning.”
The Rehabilitation and Basic training Centre (RBTC) train students in various components including re-caning of chairs, light engineering, weaving, doormat-making and candle-making. Puttanna, the joint secretary of RBTC, said, “This year, around 25 students completed the course. It has instilled confidence among the students. When they came to this institute they were suppressed and scared to step outside the compound. But, today, they go out without any fear.” Voicing a similar opinion, Gopal Padmanabhan, the vice-president said, “The students have come out brilliantly in their programme. We don’t consider them any different from any ordinary children. They are as normal as we are.”