Monday, October 24, 2016

Blind Walk

On 15 October, NAB Goa (National Association for the Blind) had organised a walk on occasion of the International White Cane Day. In this cause of social outreach and to solidarity towards the blind, seven of us chose to walk wearing blindfolds. Indeed, it was an eye opening experience!

The blind walk was not strange to me, as I have done it many times before in training and theatre… but this time it was along a road with traffic passing by… under the watchful eye of guiding volunteers… with a white cane in hand and the senses of hearing and touch to show the way…

The most important thing we learnt was to trust the person giving directions. If it was someone who could not see, he/she would share their experience with the person behind. The ones who could see would be sharing details with a tone of caring in their voice. None would get irritated because they got hit by the white cane or repeated questions of ‘where have we reached?’

It was wonderful to hold on to the ability to trust based on belief in human goodness. It was great to be able to discover that handicaps are hurdles that can be overcome. It was empowering to move from the discomfort of feeling helpless to the committed resolve to march ahead, taking all help required from within and without. And of course, we embraced empathy for the ones who cannot see!

To walk the dark way, we must learn to trust. We must choose to overcome every hurdle. We must take all assistance required with grace and dignity. The visually challenged are doing it all the time… marching on to worthy visions. While we do our bit to assist them in every way we can, we must emulate their attitude of walking in the dark towards the enlightening vision of life!

the blind walk shows what it feels and reckons…
a worthy vision of resolve and empathy beckons!

- Pravin K. Sabnis

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