Blind World Magazine

Blind kids are motivated by the army, and thrilled with the weapons.

November 09, 2005.
DNA (Daily News & Analysis), India.

NASHIK: It was a field day for the 19 blind and partially blind students who had come to Deolali, Nashik for a residential camp, when they visited the Artillery Centre and the School of Artillery.

The students, a part of the inclusion project by the National Association of the Blind (NAB), Mumbai, were exposed to guns, equipments, tanks, shells and barrels -- a world that they experienced for the first time in their lives. The icing on the cake was that they were also shown adventure equipment like kayaks, boats, snow climbing equipments, etc.

Officers at the Artillery Centre informed the children about the various guns, their operations, dimensions, etc. The kids seemed thrilled to actually touch the huge guns and tankers. "This is all so exciting", said Neha, a young girl. "Initially I was scared when they fired the guns in a mock exercise, but later I found it all thrilling."

Austin, a young man was excited beyond words when he actually held a gun with his bare hands. "I felt motivated enough to actually join the army," commented Austin who is completely blind.

Student co-ordinator, NAB, Ajay Kumar Rai described the entire experience as a multifarious experience for the students.

"We appreciate the army's gesture to be willing to open themselves to these students. The aim of such camps is to create a general awareness about the blind and their lives. The main purpose of course remains to make these children a part of society and not somebody to be pitied upon." All these children study in normal schools in Mumbai. They are only assisted by special teachers twice a week. The aim is to make them independent and impart them new experiences and knowledge.

Children are also taught self protection and encouraged to live a normal life within society and its norms.

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