Blind World Magazine

Candles made by the blind are a favourite choice during this Diwali.

October 27, 2005., India.

New Delhi: Diwali, the biggest festival of Hindus, is also known as the festival of lights. People of all religion celebrate it with colourful candlelights and earthen lamps. The candles that are made by the blind people are becoming a referred choice among people of Delhi.

This was evident in a Diwali fair organised by the Blind Relief Association where people thronged to buy the candles made by the blind.

The inmates of Blind Relief Association Delhi have been making candles for many years now. These visually challenged people earn their living by making candles, greeting cards and furniture. But the main attraction has always been candles. Candles made by the blind are in great demand especially during Diwali.

The blind workers are employed , they are paid salaries, provided food and medical facilities by the Association. Their pay scale is equivalent to that of Government employees of similar rank.

"We give practical training to them, like how to make candles in different type of moulds, they learn everything here by experience. They can do every thing except distinguish between the colours and work on fire. They receive certificates for the training they get on the basis of which they can get loan to start their own business," says Vasudev, Supervisor, Blind Relief Association, Delhi.

These physically-challenged people do not like to be dependents. Some of them have been working for years. They are also aware of the fact that people like their work and appreciate it.

"I am here since 1965. At first I was studying here then I learned to make chairs and candles along with studies. Later I started working here as a professional candle-maker," says Rajkumar.

People just don't buy these candles out of sympathy but also because of the fact that they are come at a cheap price and look really beautiful. A lot of varieties are offered at reasonable rates.

"We buy candles every year because they are beautiful and are especially made by blind people. The price of these candles is also reasonable," said a customer.

"The candles are available here at reasonable prices compared to other markets in Delhi like Khan Market and many others. Thats why we prefer to buy candles from here," says another customer.

Here, the candles are manufactured throughout the year as there are also many orders for other functions and parties.

Blilnd relief association is the oldest institute for blind people in the country. BRA came into inception in 1945 as "Industrial Home for the Blind" in Delhi. The association introduced a candle-making segment 24 years ago which is still a big success.

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