Campaign Ended! The campaign ended on June, 05 2016
Charity Physically Challenged
I am George Abraham. I have been visually impaired since the age of 10 months. I had conceived and organised the first ever World Cup Cricket for the blind in 1998. Read more about me at www.georgeabraham.in or look me up on Wikipedia.
I head Score Foundation and am starting a campaign to mobilize support for a module. We are developing a module to transform young blind children into people who approach life with a winning attitude. We too can do it.
1. Population of blind and visually impaired persons is huge. WHO estimates it as 63 million people who are blind and have low vision. Govt puts it at 5.32 million while activists put the figure at 42 million.
2. Blind and visually impaired widely perceived as people who need to be helped and looked after.
3. Limited opportunities for education and personal development. Not seen as important.
4. Education facilities for the blind and visually impaired persons poor in quality and content.
5. Employment opportunities mainly through Govt reservations and a few Corporate houses.
6. Skill development programmes by Govt/NGOs surging but gravitating towards the low hanging fruits. 3.8 million persons with disability need to be trained and placed by 2022. Hearing impaired and orthopedically challenged perceived as easy to train and place. Organisations working with the blind have also started training persons who have other disability. The pressure of numbers and time and the demands of the linked funding have pushed visually impaired people into the margins.
1. With support from Axis Bank Foundation, we ran a 6 month Skill Development Programme for blind and visually impaired persons who were graduates.
2. While recruiting we had interviewed over 400 candidates. We found that more than 90% of them were unemployable and untrainable. Low self worth, no drive, Poor language skills, no computer skills, very limited general awareness and knowledge, limited experience of interacting socially, no grooming and an attitude that did not add value. They either were negative or extremely cynical.
3. With difficulty, we found 10 candidates whom we trained.
4. We realized that Skill Development was a huge compromise and an attempt at a quick fix. Soft skills, attitudes, language, general awareness, social skills etc cannot be achieved through abbreviated campaigns. Many of these skills are acquired over a life time. Skill India is a great slogan but the real challenge and the future of the country lies in education. If the blind and visually impaired persons of the future have to be employable and evolve to realize theirpotential, they must be engaged with at a much younger age. At 20 and 21, very little can be done. Attitudes are pretty deeply set and the learning process has slowed down.
5. We know of visually impaired persons who are part of the mainstream. Pankaj Sinha is a practicing lawyer in the Delhi High Court, Charudatta Jadhav is an IT professional with TCS at Mumbai, Garimella Subramanium is a senior journalist with The Hindu at Chennai. Jagdish Luthra is a successful businessman at Meerut. Sudha Patel is a yoga instructor and a hugely successful entrepreneur near Ahmedabad. Dilip Loyolka is a highly accomplished CA in Kolkatta. All good examples of how early nurture and investment in good education has resulted in blind and visually impaired persons finding their places in the mainstream
6. There is a need to work with children. Children need to be instilled with an internal drive to achieve and with an understanding that to achieve they need skills. They need to start dreaming and need to be aware of what it takes to make these dreams happen.
1. We propose to work with blind and visually impaired children in the age group of 8 to 12.
2. This is the age when they are enthusiastic about life, exploring, keen to learn, open to new ideas. This is an age when they understand and when they are receptive.
3. We would like to sow the seeds of ambition in their minds. We want to place before them different options and get them to aspire and start dreaming. We want to ignite their minds and fan their passions.
4. We want them to understand the purpose of education and help them see education as a stepping stone to their dreams for the future.
5. We want them to identify and recognise the skills they need to achieve their dreams. We want to help them come up with a road map for their dreams.
6. We want them to start identifying their talents/strengths and finding ways in nurturing them.
7. We want them to focus on personal independence, appreciate the role of technology in shaping their lives
8. We would like to work with them and help them focus on what they should get out of education. For example Language skills, critical thinking, number skills, general awareness and social skills.
9. The simple objective is that when blind and visually impaired persons are through with education, they are adequately equipped to take on a profession of their choice. Our module will be a catalyst that will help the blind child imbibe the relevant skill sets and mind set as they pass through school and college. The module aims to have an impact on the quality of the blind and visually impaired students coming out of the education system. The impact would be in the areas of personal independence (mobility/computers), attitude, general awareness and social inclusion.
10. There is also a need to work with the teachers to help them buy into this vision and be willing to be part of this campaign.
1. The module would comprise classroom interactions, activities, films/audio visual content and various tools of learning.
2. The module will broadly be built round TASK ie
a. Technology (assistive technologies leading to personal independence in mobility, work,accessing information.
b. Aspirations/ambitions and attitudes
c. Social skills and soft skills including language skills etc
d. Knowledge and a general awareness.
3. The module will help the children specifically focus on the above 4 areas of skill development.
4. We have realized the need for this intervention and will be working on the module from scratch.
5. We will be working with professionals involved with transformation, education, technology and training. We will be looking for our core team from across India.
6. We would be working with one to two schools as our lab and testing ground.
7. The development and testing of the module will take us 12 to 18 months.
8. Once the module is tested and ready, we will share it for delivery across the country through the Eyeway network and through other networks. Eyeway today is a network of 6 organisations. In the next 2 years, we will evolve into a network of 24 organisations.
9. We will also need to develop a training workshop and a mannuel for teachers/trainers who will deliver the module.
Ideally, we would like to work on this proposal in two phases:
1. A project development phase where the project manager and I would identify and put together the core team and arrive at an accurate project action plan , time line and budget. We will keep the budget for the project under Rs.50 lakhs.
2. We will take 3 months to put the team together and come up with the final project proposal.So the request is that we put in an initial budget which will help us put together the core project team and the detailed project proposal.
|Budget Head||Cost in INR|
Project manager’s cost at Rs.80000 per month for 3 months
|Recruiting and assembling the core team which would include travel and face to face meetings etc.||1,00,000|
|Admin and other executivetime cost at Rs.20,000 per months for 3 months||60,000|
Thank you for your support in April, May, 2016 that helped us raise funds for the ground work for our project with blind children. We are happy to report that we have put together a one year project plan to develop our module to ignite passion, ambition and purpose among blind children in the age group of 9 and 12 and trigger in them an understanding of the value of education and the potential of education preparing them for employment. We will be working with 30 children and collaborating 6 organisations working in the space of education/children as we move forward in January 2017 The module we believe will have a huge impact on how blind children go through the education system in the coming times.