Vision-Aid annual event dazzles, drawing over 1400 viewers!

Vision-Aid scaled new heights in their 2021 annual event this year on August 1st. All prior records were broken. With over 1400 viewers tuning in from all over the US and other countries , a spectacular “Better than Broadway” production staged by an amazing team of talented Producer, Artistic directors and Volunteers Dancers, and generous support from donors, seamless efforts from a large team of volunteers – it all came together beautifully. Vision-Aid is grateful to each and every person who helped to make their annual event be such an amazing, grand success. The support ensures many valuable programs for the visually impaired in the coming year.

Announcement of the $100,000 smartphone matching grant

One of the highlights of the event this year was a major, exciting announcement of a $100,000 matching grant by a philanthropist from Kansas who generously provided matching grant for Smartphones for the visually impaired from under-privileged backgrounds in India. Smart phones and Mobile Technology are a lifeline and personal assistant for the education, mobility, personal safety and almost every function in the daily lives for many needy and deserving individuals and significant funds were raised for this program during the event. Funds for over 400 smartphones were raised just during the event, and the campaign to raise 2,000 smart phones for the under-privileged continues on the Vision-Aid web site. Vision-Aid invites anyone interested in taking advantage of this match to just to go www.VisionAid.org and donate today. Every donation of $100 will be doubled in impact with the match and provide a life-changing assistive device to the visually impaired enabling them to do many things from safely navigating themselves with the help of AI-based applications, to accessing a range of valuable information via text-to-speech mobile applications to pursuing higher education from MOOCs like Khan Academy, Coursera, edX.

Keynote Speaker

The Chief Guest Dr. Partha Ghosh delivered an inspiring keynote speech with many valuable insights – one of them being a suggestion to consider changing the perceptions about the visually impaired. He said “Instead of using the word Visually Challenged, we might say Optically Challenged but Visually Gifted” because they have amazing inner vision. 

To see a recording of the Opening Ceremony including Dr. Partha’s inspiring key note, please click here

Vision-Aid 2021 film

A new film about Vision-Aid was released at the event. The short film provides a 360-degree view of how the Vision-Aid family is working together every day towards our mission of Enabling, Educating and Empowering the Visually Impaired to live with independence and dignity. Click here to view the new film.

The dream team behind the Seven Selfless Sovereigns

The Producer

Shri Ramachandran Muralidaran of Chennai outdid himself once again this year. The choreography, music, animation, and selection of scenes evoking euphoretic emotions in this production were just outstanding. The Vision-Aid leadership team had great appreciation for his 2021 production.

The Artistic Directors

The Artistic Directors Jeyanthi Ghatraju, Sripriya Natarajan Moorthy, Suja Meyyappan, Thenu Rajan, Sheetal Dwaraka, Dhanashree Karmakar, Aishwarya Balasubramanian. & Kalaimangai Anbalgan worked tirelessly for months to bring Muralidaran Sir’s choreography to life.

Sripriya Natarajan Moorthy added English sub-titles that made the show accessible to all the audiences. English translation were also provided by Uma Devarajan, Indira Natarajan, Meena Ramamurti, Jeyanthi Ghatraju, Sankariah Ramamoorthy, Thenu Raajan, Kalaimangai Anbalagan.

Senior mentors for the 2021 show who ably assisted the Artistic Directors include Adhithi Venkatesan, Ananya Venkatesan, Chitanya Gopu, Priyanka Joshi, Chetna Ayyagari, Roshini Uthayakumar.

Vision-Aid’s The Seven Selfless Sovereigns 

The show had 7 episodes with the following key contributors in each one

Episode 1

Sripriya Natarajan Moorthy, Chitanya Gopu, Priyanka Joshi, Ananya Kumar, Bhargavi Rao, Lara Scaria, Rasika Scarff, Vaidehi Moorthy

Episode 2

Jeyanthi Ghatraju, Kalaimangai Anbalgan, Adhithi Venkatesan, Ananya Venkatesan, Chetna Ayyagari, Roshini Uthayakumar, Abie Uthayakumar, Meghna Kanthan, Niranjana Anandkumar, Oviya Inian, Sunthriiwi Venkat.

Episode 3

Jeyanthi Ghatraju, Dhanashree Karmarkar, Aarya Atale, Abhilasha Banka, Amal Balachundhar, Andrea Mariadoss, Eepsitha Muppasani, Janya Utkarsh, Prisha Mishra, Rushika Susarla, Saiesha Bollapragada, Sarayu Gadam, Sonia Lakshmanan, Viritha Reddy.
Supporting artists: Kaveesh Mishra, Padma Reddy, Pallavi Atale, Sudhir Ranjan, Sushma Yadala, Swapna Putta

Episode 4

Episode 5

Thenu Raajan, Anushka Diddee, Anvita Kalpande, Ashmita Boopathy, Nidhi Ramesh, Nishi Manikandan, Praksitha Rajasekaran, Siddhi Talekar, Sumedha Konduri

Episode 6

Episode 7

Sheethal Dwaraka, Hannah Jacob, Hannah Thomas, Hrishikesh Dwaraka, Liya Liju, Mathew Alex, Madhav Girish, Meenakshi Dwaraka, Narayan Sajeev, Richa Rajesh, Shreeya Menon, Swetha Prabhala.

Volunteer Videographers & Brochure Designer

A team of talented volunteer videographers Kanth Ghatraju, Maneesh Srivastava, Saravanan Meyyappan, Krish Velmurugan, Anand Kavalapara, Vijay Moorthy, Deepa Jacob, Liya Liju and Jayashree Menon worked tirelessly to capture all the recordings in June in Chroma (with Green Screens) so that the videos could then be transformed to add the magical special effects which made it so magical.

Boston’s Meyyappan Meyyappan of Kolam Media Creations designed a classy brochure which showcased the production, dancers, sponsors and Vision-Aid projects.

2021 Vision-Aid Ambassador medal winners

Vision-Aid is thankful to the selfless Volunteers and all Sponsors

Many volunteers came together behind the scenes to pull together this mega event – Sanjay Jain, Sudhir Varma, Ujwala Phene, Syed Ali Rizvi, Paramesh Garimella, Rita Vachani, Ravi Rastogi, Sonal Bakre, Monika Manocha Wadhwa, Dr. Ramkumar Ramamirtham, Dr. Bharti Nihalani, Dr. Arun Krishnan, Veena Handa, Lovely Singh, Sonal Patel, Dr. Suraja Menon Roychoudury, Dr. Aparna Raghuram for flawlessly everything from pre-event outreach to actual streaming the ZOOM show, managing ticketing logistics, online help, social media, creating wonderful brochures and much more. Anshuman Agarwal, Isaac Williams, Vijay Francis and many others from the India team also provided significant support.

Vision-Aid thanks all sponsors for the event. Vision-Aid’s “grand sponsors”  came forward generously and helped establish Vision-Aid National Resource Centers in Hyderabad, Chennai, Madurai, Delhi, Pune and many other locations. The Vision-Aid leadership team is deeply indebted to them all and also to our Catalyst, Platinum, Diamond, Emerald, Gold, Silver, Corporate Sponsors and Advertisers and to each and every donor. No contribution is too small.

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.

Vision-Aid Newsletter

Vision-Aid Course Catalog

Vision-Aid Model

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.