Vision-Aid Announces a New Center At Pune

The year 2020 started with a bang from Vision-Aid. A new Vision-Aid Center in Pune India was announced by Ramakrishna and Revathy Raju while they were visiting Pune. Pune, called “The Queen of the Deccan” is one of the major cities in the state of Maharashtra, India. It is a comparatively smaller sized city having a pleasant vibe, and less daunting than bigger tier 1 metros like Chennai and Bangalore. The weather is mild and the city has many interesting historic landmarks. Ram and Revathy visited Pune with the main purpose of identifying a location for a new Vision-Aid center . This center will serve the needs of not only the Punekars, as residents of Pune are known, but all of the surrounding regions in Western Maharashtra. 

Ram and Revathy were joined by Anil Saigal, who happened to be in Mumbai from Boston on a sabbatical.  The trio visted different prospective sites for the new Pune center.  The Saigals had decided to support the creation of a new Vision-Aid center in Maharashtra, in 2020 in the loving memory of Ranjani Saigal’s great father Dr. Aiyer. After surveying and researching many options, they finally shortlisted the Community Eye Care Foundation (CECF) in Pune as their first choice. The main purpose of their visit to Pune was to meet with the team, discuss various aspects of the project, get a direct look at their work, and to survey various sites in Pune for the Vision-Aid Center. 

The founders were impressed with the CECF team. Headed by Dr. Parikshit Gogate, they have already established a very good track record of service in eye care in Pune. Not only in primary eye care and cataract surgeries but also in the field of low vision screening in primary schools and special schools in the region. 

They had a detailed discussions with the CECF team and were fascinated to learn about their grass-roots community outreach program which goes door-to-door in the poorest neighborhoods of Pune to perform eye care screening. Patients with visual impairment are then referred for proper followup to the appropriate eye care providers. The CECF community health care workers showed detailed maps of Pune, and explained their approach for eye care screening in the poorest slums where many patients can’t even read letters on an eye chart. It was astonishing to see such novel workarounds have to be devised to meet the objectives of eye care screening. 

Ram and Revathy visited 3 different sites, and after considering the pros and cons of all 3 of them, were inclined to the location inside Atharva Nethralaya, a unique, community based eye care center in Pune where 65 ophthalmologists jointly run a center for comprehensive eye care services. 

In  January 2020, the work for the Pune center will begin. The first step will be to sign an MOU. Thereafter, work will commence on the project, rolling out the different programs in the Vision-Aid model in phases. Vision-Aid is optimistic that this center will grow steadily over time, to serve the needs of not just Pune but all the surrounding parts of Western Maharashtra, where such services currently do not exist. 

Vision-Aid India Relaunches its Website

The launch of this new website gives us renewed hope that India will see more lives of the visually impaired being transformed.

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A Digital Accessibility Testing Testimonial | Nibin Mathews

Nibin Mathews’ journey is a testament to resilience and determination. Despite facing

significant visual impairment challenges since birth, Nibin pursued education with unwavering determination. Losing sight in one eye due to a cricket ball stroke in 6th grade and later losing vision in the other eye to glaucoma didn’t deter him. He completed his Bachelor’s in English and even secured a job with Indian Railways. Yet, his thirst for knowledge led him to pursue computer programming, which he found through Vision-Aid. With their specialized training, he mastered coding and digital accessibility testing. With their financial support, he pursued a Master’s degree. Now, as the Accessibility Lead at Bosch Global Software Technologies, he’s excelling professionally. But Nibin’s achievements don’t stop there; he’s also an international tennis champion and a skilled violinist. He attributes much of his success to Vision-Aid, acknowledging their pivotal role in his journey. His story is not just one of personal triumph but also a testament to the impact of support systems in overcoming challenges and inspiring others.

A Job Coaching for Banking and other exams Testimonial | Gautam Gulati

Meet Gautam, a remarkable individual based in Bareilly, Uttar Pradesh, whose life story is a testament to resilience, determination, and the transformative power of organizations like Vision-Aid India.

Gautam’s life commenced with the diagnosis of Retinist Pigmentosa. Despite experiencing a 40% loss of sight, he persevered through attending a regular school, successfully completing his education and earning a B Com degree. His world took an unexpected turn after graduation, when, he had the major sight loss. Faced with the challenges of navigating everyday activities like driving, reading, writing print, and mobility etc. Yet, rather than allowing these obstacles to define him, he chose a path of resilience and determination. Undeterred by his circumstances, Gautam turned to technology, becoming dependent on tools designed for visually impaired individuals, including screen readers. His quest for independence led him to explore new technologies with the support of various NGOs. Through his social networks, Gautam discovered Vision-Aid India, an organization dedicated to empowering the visually impaired. Recognizing the potential for growth, he enrolled in Vision-Aid’s IBPS banking crash course, specifically tailored for visually impaired individuals, in April 2022.

Determined to enhance his skills further, Gautam pursued an additional course in mobile technology. This commitment to personal and professional growth showcased his unwavering spirit and determination.

Armed with newfound knowledge, Gautam faced the Bank of India Credit Officer exam after completing the IBPS crash course. His hard work, coupled with the right guidance from Vision-Aid, resulted in success. In 2023, Gautam proudly joined Bank of India as a Credit Officer, marking a significant milestone in his journey.

Gautam attributes his success and newfound independence to Vision-Aid India. With deep gratitude, he acknowledges the organization’s role in providing IBPS coaching and shaping his path towards independence.

A Python Testimonial

Tejas

Tejas, born with visual impairment in Mumbai, pursued his education at a Blind School. After school, he graduated from St. Xavier’s College in 2007. His quest for technology education led him to NIIT Bangalore, but job challenges followed. He worked as an HR Recruiter at Thomson Reuters but continued his search for software engineering opportunities. Tejas found his path at Vision-Aid India, where he gained certifications in JavaScript, CSS, HTML, Python, and Digital Accessibility Testing. Vision-Aid then helped him secure a role as an Associate Software Engineer at Pristine InfoTech Inc. He’s deeply grateful to Vision-Aid for enabling visually impaired individuals to learn software languages and work independently as software engineers.

Bindhu Sri

Meet Bindu, from Hyderabad. Who began her life with the gift of perfect vision? She embarked on her educational journey in a conventional school, but at the tender age of 9, her world dimmed as Retinitis Pigmentosa (RP) impacted her sight. Loosing major of her vision with lot of challenges she still could complete her graduate degree in 2020 and her post-graduate degree in 2022. Being interested to pursue her career in computer programming she discovered Vision-Aid India, a beacon of hope and opportunity. Enrolling in their online certification programs, Bindu successfully completed both Python and SQL languages. Armed with these newfound skills, she opened doors to her career, securing a position as a Data Engineer at RX Data Science, a renowned company.

“All of this was made possible through the invaluable support and guidance provided by Vision-Aid India” She Says.

A HTML, CSS, JavaScript, and ARIA Fundamentals for Accessible Web Development Testimonial

Tejas

Tejas, born with visual impairment in Mumbai, pursued his education at a Blind School. After school, he graduated from St. Xavier’s College in 2007. His quest for technology education led him to NIIT Bangalore, but job challenges followed. He worked as an HR Recruiter at Thomson Reuters but continued his search for software engineering opportunities. Tejas found his path at Vision-Aid India, where he gained certifications in JavaScript, CSS, HTML, Python, and Digital Accessibility Testing. Vision-Aid then helped him secure a role as an Associate Software Engineer at Pristine InfoTech Inc. He’s deeply grateful to Vision-Aid for enabling visually impaired individuals to learn software languages and work independently as software engineers.