June 15, 2024, marks a key milestone for Vision-Aid India which is celebrating 20 years of rehabilitating over 100,000 visually impaired across India, since its founding on June 15, 2004. Vision-Aid’s impact has been constantly accelerating since its inception, and the team has a vision to achieve another 100,000+ in the next 3 years alone.

In a world often defined by its disparities, Vision-Aid stands as a beacon of hope, dedicated to rehabilitating those with incurable low vision conditions and blindness with painstaking and individualized rehabilitation. Vision-Aid collaborates with leading eye hospitals, blind schools, and community organizations to provide free or highly subsidized services to the underprivileged segments of Indian society.

Impactful Programs

Enabling

Vision-Aid provides essential services to the visually impaired, including Low Vision Screening, Assistive Devices, and Orientation & Mobility Training.

Educating

Vision-Aid offers 12 different streams of educational programs in which visually impaired learners receive tailored and customized mentoring in a range of skills that significantly improve both literacy and employability.

Empowering

Vision-Aid’s empowerment programs focus on holistic support and advocacy through counseling, outreach, and community engagement.

Innovation

Vision-Aid has pioneered many new technologies and services to assist the visually impaired. An example of one such initiative includes the creation of a Digital Accessibility Testing and Training Center (DATTC), which provides high-quality digital accessibility testing services to Indian and global clients, creating employment opportunities. It’s affordable AI-Powered Smart Vision Glasses is another example of leading the way with technology.

Extensive Collaborations with Premier Eye Hospitals

Vision-Aid collaborates with renowned institutions to extend its reach and impact across India, including:

    • Aravind Eye Hospital, Madurai, and 5 other locations in Tamil Nadu

    • Sankara Nethralaya, Chennai, and Kolkata

    • L.V. Prasad Eye Institute, Hyderabad, and Vizag

    • Dr. Shroff’s Charity Eye Hospital, Delhi

    • Narayana Nethralaya, Bengaluru

    • Community Eye Care Foundation, Pune

    • Sitapur Eye Hospital and JLR Eye Hospital in UP

    • Several other leading organizations across 34 locations in India

These partnerships enable Vision-Aid to scale its programs, ensuring wide-reaching impact.

SUCCESS STORIES

Megha Patangi, from Kolkata now in Bangalore, overcame visual impairment to become a company secretary and accessibility tester. She credits her success to family support and mentors at Vision-Aid. As a Vision-Aid trainer, Megha shares her knowledge and volunteers in the spoken English program, exemplifying dedication and resilience.

Samira Silveira from Goa pursued engineering despite visual impairment, completing a diploma in secretarial skills and gaining sales and administration experience. Learning screen reader technology, she became an NGO trainer, then a CISCO project coordinator while studying for her BCA. Excelling in Python through Vision-Aid, she now contributes as a teaching assistant and volunteer.

Nibin Mathews, despite losing his sight, completed a Bachelor’s in English and worked for Indian Railways. Vision-Aid’s training in programming led to his role as Accessibility Lead at Bosch. An international tennis champion and violinist, Nibin credits Vision-Aid for their crucial support in his success.
Bhargav Vaghasiya, from Gujarat, overcame blindness since 6th grade and dedicated himself to empowering visually impaired individuals. Skilled in Python programming and assistive technologies through Vision-Aid, he advocates for accessibility via workshops and mentoring. Apart from being a mentor and instructor, he also significantly contributes to Vision-Aid’s Digital Accessibility Training center as a lead in many global projects.
Ayush Jain, 22, suffered from deteriorating vision, impacting his daily life and independence. He enrolled in the Certified Computer Application and Mobile Technology course at Vision-Aid. After completing his education Ayush returned to join Vision-Aid as a trainer, helping to teach other visually impaired students.
Arun Kumar’s journey showcases resilience and determination. Losing his vision in 2017 he persevered with support from family, friends, and Vision-Aid mentors. Excelling in Python programming and digital accessibility testing, he became a Senior Machine Learning engineer in a leading IT firm and volunteers now with Vision-Aid to mentor others.

A Legacy of Voluntary Leadership and Dedication to Service

Since its founding in 2004, Vision-Aid India’s leadership team comprises highly talented and dedicated volunteer leaders drawn from a wide range of professions and business domains.

The journey began under the leadership of its founding chairman, Mr. M.S. Raju, an alumnus of IIT Kharagpur who worked closely with the Rotary Club Waltair (RCW) under the leadership of Mr. Avasarala Srinivas in laying the foundation and steering the Vision-Aid journey. From its inception, Vision-Aid India has been supported by Vision-Aid USA, an independent entity, and volunteer-led US-based nonprofit organization.

Currently, Vision-Aid’s India team includes many volunteers including its President, Dr. (Col.) M. Sitaram, Executive Vice Presidents CA. Avasarala Srinivas and Mr. Venkata Ramana, Executive Committee member, Executive Director, and Chief functionary, Mr. V.L. Narasimhan and several others.

VISION FOR THE FUTURE

Over the past 20 years, a solid foundation has been laid for future growth. Vision-Aid’s impact has been accelerating rapidly and looking ahead, Vision-Aid aims to grow its portfolio of programs across India to reach another 100,000 in the next 3 years, and also prioritize two new areas: Cerebral Visual Impairment (CVI) – the leading cause of childhood blindness in India, and Artificial Intelligence (AI) based solutions for the visually impaired.

For more information about Vision-Aid, our programs, and upcoming events, please visit www.visionAidIndia.org.

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.