Reaching out to the blind with music - My Take
The idea for my initiative came when I was holidaying in Paris with my parents in 2015. We were at a restaurant where the meals were served in complete darkness and the waiters were completely blind.
That stayed in my mind and when I came back to India, I visited a blind school in Delhi. I felt that I should do something.
I started playing my guitar in neighborhood parks and markets to raise funds for the All India Confederation of the Blind. To overcome my fear of playing in public, I started practicing at a low volume in parks at noon when there would be few people. My father joined me so I didn't feel alone. I was also worried about whether the audience will like my music.
My parents were very encouraging. They gave me suggestions while preparing posters and visiting cards. My father also helped me get permissions to play in commercial places.
I got different reactions from family and friends. Many were not sure if I could see it through. Some wondered if I had selfish motives. My family initially suggested I focus more on studies.
Some of the reactions from the public have been very heartwarming. When we practiced in parks, an old gentleman who was listening for a while gave me a flower as appreciation. A lady once purchased pastries for us since she felt we must be tired. Quite often people offer us water.
I feel that such efforts have to become a way of life for all. They have to be regarded as basic courtesies towards society. To progress as a culture, there needs to be more introspection around this in our country.
About the Writer
Chaitanya Sood is a student based in New Delhi. He has launched a forum named 'Sqwalkie Talkies' inviting likeminded children to play next to him.