Helping visually impaired with the 'write' choice - My Take by Ummehaani Bagasrawala
In My Take, Ummehaani Bagasrawala, founder of Pearls of Vision India, a group that helps the visually impaired find writers, talks about the challenges faced by blind students.
As a college student in Mumbai, I have experienced firsthand how hard it is for visually impaired students to find writers before exams. I, like other visually impaired students, would run from pillar to post, desperate to find someone who would be willing to help out.
When you have experienced that kind of stress, you don’t want others to suffer. That is why I decided to start Pearls of Vision India.
We are a small group of people who help people with visual impairments with writing various exams - school, college and competitive exams. It’s a social cause and we do it free of charge. We formally launched the group in 2015 and gave it a name but we started working informally before that.
We reach out to students all over India through WhatsApp and Facebook. We recently added Aurangabad to our list of cities. It would help us a lot if principals at schools and colleges were to create a small team of students who we could be in touch with regarding exam schedules etc. This would make the process smoother.
It makes me very happy when people call after exams and tell us that the writer was very good or that the exam went off well. Recently, there was this Class 12 student from Kerala who called us from a co-passenger’s phone on the train and said that he wanted a writer in Mumbai for an exam. He had no money to even travel from the train station to the exam centre but he had heard of us and reached out for help. When such things happen, I feel very satisfied with what we have been able to do.