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Insight into the unsighted

Our school organizes lot of trips. The most memorable of them has been the visit to two blind institutions- one at the end of last year and the other, this year.
The first was to Blind School at Aluva, Kerala. The students (including day scholars and residents), welcomed us and entertained us with a host of programmes. They demonstrated their skills in Braille reading and writing and stilt – walking. They showed us Braille printing. They sat down with us and discussed their daily lives and activities. Some of them even sang songs for us and we too sang few songs for them. They presented us with some samples of their Braille writing. They read out, in Braille, the same Malayalam text book, which we use. It was interesting to see how adept they were, in performing their day-to-day chores. We distributed bags of toffees to the staff and students. When we finally left them , some of us had made friends with several of the inmates there.
The second trip, was to the Home for the Blind at Angamaly, Kerala. Here, adults who are blind live and work. Book binding and cutting; weaving of chairs, their painting and selling, are done here, against orders from shops. They also demonstrated to us, how they use voice-controlled computers. Some of them have been blind from birth, while others had lost their sight, at various ages, due to accidents, etc. They discussed with us the problems they face, the lives they lead, etc. We presented them with several bags of rice, which we all students had collected, (each student had brought, from home, one fistful of rice). They gave us a warm send-off.
Both these trips, left us with heavy hearts, but, at the same time, we also got a first-hand feel of life in the world of the unsighted. We offer heartfelt prayers to the Almighty, to give them strength of courage and conviction, to lead normal lives. We also thank our school authorities, for giving us such a wonderful and valuable experience.

Rashmi P. Kumar
VII B
Bhavan's Varuna Vidyalaya
Kochi

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