A Bengaluru holiday led to the start of this NGO that reaches out to visually impaired people
In the late nineties, Madhu Singhal decided to travel to Bengaluru from her hometown in Haryana. Being visually impaired had never been a roadblock to her travel plans. And once she landed in Bengaluru, Madhu fell in love with the garden city.
She decided to settle down in Bengaluru and do something to empower people who are visually impaired. That led her to found Mitra Jyoti.
Started in 1990 with a team of 10 people, the early years were in a small garage. This later expanded to two buildings. Over the years, most of the founders passed away leaving behind two people who now run this NGO for people with disabilities.
Madhu remembers the struggles that the founders faced in the early years. Today the NGO reaches out to blind people by training them to help enable them to live in society with their heads held high.
I decided to start an NGO for the disabled community, mainly blind people. Being a blind person, I know the struggles that they go through. During my college days, we hardly had any books in Braille. I had to do everything on my own. There were no sources and those were tough times. I decided people from my community must not face such hardships. At Mitra Jyoti, we have an exclusive Braille library for blind people. - Madhu Singhal, Co-founder, Mitra Jyoti.
Their exclusive Braille library has reached out to hundreds of blind people from across India. They have books in audio and Braille as well. Blind people can pick up books on science, fiction and literature. You name it and they have it!
Mitra Jyoti claims to focus on education and rehabilitation programmes for the disabled community, mainly blind people. They have an educational resource centre, computer training centre, Braille transcription centre, placement cells and an exclusive centre for empowerment of women with disabilities.
Mitra Jyoti owns a home for disabled women who come to work in Bengaluru from rural parts of India. Mitra Jyoti claims that this place is a safe haven with an accessible building which suits women with all kinds of disabilities.
"Today we have over 35 blind people with us. We have over 3000 beneficiaries for our Braille library alone. Most of our donations come from corporates and individuals. As of now, we are trying to reach out to maximum people who needs help", signs off Madhu.