Nov 12, 2018

BLINDWALK 2018 - FEEL BEING BLIND

Pledge for the future.....
Pledge for the future.....

The BlindWalk program conceived and conducted by the Project Vision has become the largest eye donation campaign in the world in five years.

Former Chief Justice of India, Shri Venkatachellaih, flagged off the Bangalore BlindWalk from St Joseph’s School in which about 800 persons blindfolded themselves to express their solidarity with the visually challenged persons on World Sight Day. 

This was part of the World BlindWalk organised by Project Vision in 150 locations across six countries in which about 100,000 participated, making it the largest eye donation dive in the world. The Walk ended at the Samsung Opera with the pledge by the participants to support the visually challenged persons and to donate their eyes after death. Mr Sandeep Bothra, Country Business Head of Alcon, led the group in taking the pledge. 

Large number of students from St Josephs, Karnataka School of Pharmacy, Y’smen International, Alcon and the public came forward to be part of this special experience of blindness in the program. The 800 strong BlindWalk was coordinated by Project Vision with non governmental organisations and institutions like Rotary Abilities, St Joseph’s College, CBM, YsMen International, AIFO, ECHO, Samsung, Essilor and so on. Rotary Abilities, which is the only Rotary Club in the world with members who are elusively differently abled, took the co-organising role in the program. Their vision is to pursue projects helping differently-abled people to join the mainstream and create credible, dynamic leadership from the community to bridge the perception gap. This helps to create greater equality, inclusivity and shows people the ability to serve rather than being served.

The fifth edition of World BlindWalk was conducted to focus attention on the issues of the visually challenged persons and to promote eye donation. India has 15 million blind persons – accounting for world’s one-third population, as per WHO.  About three million of these visually challenged persons could see again through eye donation. But eye donation in the country was only around 69,000 last years despite about ten million deaths as per National Program for the Control of Blindness (NPCB).

BlindWalk is a novel idea developed by Project Vision to express solidarity with the visually challenged people with the caption ‘Feel Being Blind’. Through this experience people are motivated to donate their eyes. Conducted in US, China, Nepal, Srilanka, Dubai and India, it the largest eye donation campaign in the world and is part of the eye donation movement started by Project Vision. 

The specialty of BlindWalk is that it blindfolds sighted people and takes them on a Walk in public place. Started with the first BlindWalk on the M G Road in Bangalore in 2014, about 500 BlindWalks have been conducted so far. In 2017 it was conducted in 253 locations. The most touching aspect of the BlindWalk is that visually challenged people lead it. While they walk in the front with their white canes, the blindfolded participants hold on to them to find their way. 

The second objective is to create Vision Ambassadors, who will do the coordination with the diseased family and the Eye Bank. Third objective is to break the myths surrounding eye donations. Anyone can donate his or her eyes. There is no age limit for eye donations. People with any diseases can donate their eyes. The face will not be disfigured. It can be done at home through a operation.

 

Blessing in Disguise

Zeenat who is from a very poor family has a lot to tell about her miserable life.  She is the 6th child among her 10 siblings. She was born and brought up at Wayanad, in the Southern State of India.  Her father accepted Islam, who was born in a Hindu family; he married a Kannadiga lady from mandya district (Karnataka), losing out all his family support. He struggled to raise his huge family. Zeenath was married when she was 16 years old to a Delhi based businessman who was into making suitcases.

Initially all went well but later she found that the person was an alcoholic and had pawned all her gold, which was given during her marriage to him. He used this money for buying his daily alcohol. Later her family intervened to settle her dues, by taking some local financial hand loans.

Zeenath found that her husband wanted to relocate to Delhi and moved out of Kerala. Her life was even more miserable during her stay at Delhi. She lived with him for six years during which time they already had 3 children. Her elder child was studying for her 9th standard, and the 2nd child was attending her 7th grade and her younger son is pursuing his 5th class. Unfortunately none of her children's stay with her, the orphanage at mutti in Wayanad district has looked them after. She got divorced.

After her divorce she was unable to raise her children and had to be dependent on her parents. She lived without any male support for almost 11 years, earning her living by doing her daily wages job offered by panchayat and by attending to some domestic help. She managed to save some money to buy a plot near her parents place with the money she saved for her children's. Her dream of everyone living together under a single roof was getting realized during the August 9th flood at kerala, India. Which changed her destiny.

The flood happened to be a blessing in disguise. Many self-help group and NGOS visited her place since her house was across a riverbank. Many people saw her pathetic condition in which she was living. Many of them offered her family relief kits and wash kits, a cot and a bed etc ...

Project vision along with the administrative department identified to give her a temporary shelter one among the 328 temporary shelters build by project vision at wayanad district, Kerala. So a temporary shelter was built along with a toilet. When asked for her testimony about how she felt about getting this temporary shelter she burst out in tears of joy by saying that she felt like living in a heaven now. All these years she lived under just a tarpaulin without even being safe at night, she spend the nights along with her parents since it was unsafe for her to be alone in the shed.

Many things changed for her when the government had offered a widow support to build a house giving an finacial assistance of 2.5 lacs some years ago. But the contractor having put a foundation for 750 to 800 per square foot misled her planning. Which costed her all her life's earnings.

During this flood a Muslim league brother's helped her to raise the construction to the lintel level. Now she is looking out to see if anyone can show mercy on her for having her dream of living with her children under the same roof she is craving for years now. Project vision is trying to see if this dream can come true…..

Blindwalk at Macau
Blindwalk at Macau
Srilanka conducting Blindwalk...
Srilanka conducting Blindwalk...
Jaipur blindwalk flagged of by Bishop.....
Jaipur blindwalk flagged of by Bishop.....
Bangalore Blindwalk by Justice Venkatachallaiah...
Bangalore Blindwalk by Justice Venkatachallaiah...
Participation of Shillong from North-East India...
Participation of Shillong from North-East India...
Students leading the Puducherry Walk....
Students leading the Puducherry Walk....
Zeenath in her temporary shelter.....
Zeenath in her temporary shelter.....
Zeenath happy about her temprory shelter...
Zeenath happy about her temprory shelter...

Links:

Aug 22, 2018

A Call For Support

Kerala Flood Relief work by The Project Vision
Kerala Flood Relief work by The Project Vision

The call for support:

The situation in Kerala's Wayanad district is particularly grim due to the floods in the state. Many villages in the area are completely submerged in water and rescue and relief operation have been met with many hurdles due to poor connectivity and accessibility.

children and stranded families can be seen taking refuge at a school in the district, The whole village is submerged due to floods and rescue and relief work has been stepped-up to evacuate people stuck in the deluge.

Shanoop, a resident of vythiri, Wayanad District who is part of the project vision rescue team told, "Most of the villages close to rivers like those in Chaligadha, Palakolli, Padilambam, Neykuppa, Lakkidi-Perur, Mookuthi Kunnu, Panamaram, Cheriyamkolly, Chegadhi, Karapuzha are fully submerged. Residents of villages, which are partially submerged, haven’t been fully moved to the relief camps yet and are facing problems like food shortage due to accessibility. Relief camps have been set up across the district by the Scheduled Tribes Development Department and the village panchayat. Schools are used for camping the effected families and the good hardhearted families have welcomed them into their homes. While many others are in parts of the areas near the villages which aren’t submerged.

The Adivasi population in the region is close to 15 percent and they stay in ‘urus’, which are isolated and difficult to access. Still, some of them have been rescued while efforts are being made to reach the others. Large landslides are also regularly happening across the region, especially around Melmurry, Vythiri taluks the photos are also enclosed. Le

The health department is providing medical treatment and medicines along with the NGO’s are supporting these services. But due to restricted movement, we were facing difficulties both in rescue and relief; however, attempts are on to reach across the region.

Project vision as usual addressed the call by having its presence at wayand to support help in relief work and to continue work in rehabilitation. Founder George Kannanthanam and sibu George attended tsunami at cadalore and Nepal earthquake in the same manner.

Testimony from Naufal from the severely effected zone

Naufal, a resident from Melmurry, kurichiyarmala waynad, shared his disastrous story “ His dream of owning a house started at the age of 22 and he almost fulfilled it when he was 33 years, it was a long dream come true. He had invited his friends and family for the house warming ceremony and accompanied with a long time desire of owning a two-wheeler, which he accomplished during this occasion and he had parked it in the porch of his new house. He lives with his wife and two children’s. A stream shutters down his dream on 9th august, just two days before the house warming, came down the rocks and sand from above the hills of his house burying the house and the motor cycle into a heap of sand and rocks, which came down in the form of a landslide. He was not the only one but other six houses vanished with no traces in the disasters. We appeal to our supporters to extend your effortless support in addressing these “Naufal” and many others who have been a victim of Kerala Flood.

 

Eye Hospital

The resident and administration block was marked for construction, the commencement of civil work towards building the ground floor for the office and the first floor to conduct a one day camp and training is planned and the work is in progress. The ground floor was partially completed and the founder director Fr George Kannanthanam started residing at the rural camp for further development. The blessing of this new start was led by Rev Fr Peter D’souza and many of the well-wishers of project vision. We wish to complete the first phase by the end of this year and also to lay the foundation stone of the hospital block at the earliest possible days. All your support is requested to have this project take shape.

We thank all our supporters and contributors for having made this project a reality.

From the team of Project Vision

“Let Everyone See”

Flooded area... a ground study
Flooded area... a ground study
Contribution for flood relief
Contribution for flood relief
The Good Samaritan,Gikky Jacob giving water filter
The Good Samaritan,Gikky Jacob giving water filter
Selfless service by volunteers.....
Selfless service by volunteers.....
Distributing to the victim families....
Distributing to the victim families....
Naufal's dream scattered along with others...
Naufal's dream scattered along with others...
The beginning of a new hopes....
The beginning of a new hopes....
Blessing of a new start....
Blessing of a new start....

Links:

Aug 13, 2018

Vision To All

Inauguration of a new movement
Inauguration of a new movement

Project Vision Inaugurates 3 Eye Collection centers in Waynad – Kerala, South India.

India has the largest number of blind persons in the world with 15 million of them. 20% of them could get sight through eye donations. But there were only 918 persons who donated eyes in Kerala in 2017. 

3rd July 2018, Shri Alphonse Kannanthanam, Union Minister for Tourism, Government of India, inaugurated the first Eye Collection Centres in Wayanad in a function at the Fathima Hospital, Kalapatta. The three eye centres for Wayanad are located at Fathima Mission Hospital, Kalpatta, Good Shepherd Hospital, Vythiri and St Martin’s Hospital, Ampalavayal. 

Mr. M.I. Shanavas MP, Mr Shasheedran MLA, District Panchayat President Smt K B Naseema, and Municipal Chairman, Smt Sanitha Jagatheesh participated in the program. 

Presiding over the function, Fr George Kannanthanam, founder of Project Vision said that Wayanad District for the first time, is getting an opportunity to donate eyes through the three eye collection centres. A phone number has been created for anyone to access this facility - 6235002244. (For Waynad only)

Mr Josy who volunteered to be trained for retrieval of eyes had undergone training for 3 months. Who will be available throughout the day and night for this service.

      

Eye Collection Drive in Churches of kerala.

Eye donation drive launched in Tellichery Diocese, Kerala as the annual project of Vincent De Paul Society - National President Dr Johnson handing over logo to Diocesan President Mr Babu in the presence of 700 members from 193 Conferences in their Ruby Jubilee function at Thaliparambu on 21st july 2018. Diocese of Alleppey from kerala has also joined this movement.

Department of Ayusha from the Govt of Karnataka Distribute Homeopathic Medicine for Schedule caste and schedule Tribe community.

300 people where given free medicine from the department of Ayusha of government of Karnataka organized by the The Project Vision volunteer groups in identifying the needy groups for distribution of the free medicines to the Andharahalli village and its surrounding on 3rd june 2018. The Government homeopathic medical college doctors helped us in providing a camp for physical examination and guiding them towards the usage of the health drink and the medicine.

 

A WORD OF GRATITUDE

We are highly encouraged to work on this mission with the funds that you've donated. Thanks for your generosity.

The Project Vision Team

Unveiling the curtain for the new vision....
Unveiling the curtain for the new vision....
volunteering unmatched service in a lifetime...
volunteering unmatched service in a lifetime...
Accepting a new start for a cause....
Accepting a new start for a cause....
Good news..........
Good news..........
A helping hand to the needy
A helping hand to the needy

Links:

 
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