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Some tips to celebrate Navratri with your blind companion

Navaratri- festival that celebrates the Goddess is here with nine days of worship, colors, rituals and also nine nights of dance and music. Here are some ideas to share the spirit of Navaratri with your family members or friends who are visually impaired.

Navratri is already here! Here's to days of dancing, laughter and happiness. Shops are packed with happy people buying things for friends and family. There are many Navratri events happening across your city which you should not miss. If you have a blind friend, partner or family member, this is the right chance to go exploring with them. It is also a fun way to get out of their comfort zones.

When you go out with a blind person especially to a new place, it is a good idea to plan ahead. Like check out the route you plan to take beforehand. We spoke to some blind people to find out how they plan their Navratri fun.

Madhu Singhal from Bengaluru is the Co-founder of Mitra Jyoti, an NGO that works towards empowering blind people. Madhu spends her Navratri with the residents of her centre.

We have a puja that usually happens at the centre. In South India, we have some unique recipes for food that is prepared for Navratri. It is always fun when a lot of us get together in the kitchen to cook. Usually we have someone calling us over for celebrating Navratri at their homes. There will be dandiya and a lot of dance. Since it is also time of the auspicious Bengali Pujo, we celebrate that too by attending Bengali events in the city. There will be lot of stalls and music. I enjoy all of that. - Madhu Singhal.

So are you planning to spend this Navratri with someone who is visually impaired. Here are some fun things you could do:

  • Go shopping together - This festive season, shops are filled with offers, sales and discounts. Navratri is a time when you welcome good luck into your home. Hence, people shop for new things for their homes. You might need to do a small research on the shops that you need to go to with a blind companion. Remember, accessibility is a crucial factor.
  • Cook delicious food - During Navratri, we have friends and family coming over. It is the time to celebrate with your loved ones with some great food. Some of us prefer ordering food outside from a restaurant because it is hassle free. Try cooking food at home with your blind companion. You can bond well with the person and also munch on some delicious food.
  • Attend music events and dandiyas- There is always dance, music and lights to add splendour to Navratri festival. Some people conduct dandiyas and music shows at homes. But if you do not know anyone doing this, you can always hop into some event nearby that celebrates Navratri with music and dance. Most of such events are welcome to all!

Anandhi Vishwanathan, founder of Inside Stories, says there are no limitations for a blind person when it comes to enjoying festivals.

"I celebrate Navratri just like any other person without a disability. Since I am Tamilian, I do our traditional 'golu' at home. I am the main cook at home. So for Navratri, I make some delicious food. I also have the company of my husband. If we are in a mood to head out and check out some dance and music, we do that. Otherwise, we prefer staying indoors to celebrate", says Anandhi.

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