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Celebrating Diwali by lighting up smart phones for the visually impaired!

Vision-Aid Centers across India are celebrating Diwali this year by lighting up smart phones to brighten up the lives of the visually impaired.

Smart phone companies have poured a lot of money into creating very powerful technology in today's devices, and there are many sophisticated mobile apps freely available to the trained user which can have a life-changing impact on them. These apps range from AI-based apps which can help blind users see objects around them, to navigation apps which can help them navigate safely, as well as learning apps which can help them connect to a range of digital resources for learning and education. Through such apps, smart phones can become like constant personal companions helping to enable, educate and empower the blind and visually impaired to live with independence and dignity.

Participants are screened carefully based on both need (all of them are from under-privileged backgrounds) and aptitude – i.e. their potential ability to use smart phone technology effectively.Here are a few glimpses from roll out’s this past week.

The Palakurthi Vision-Aid Center in L.V.Prasad Eye Inst. in Hyderabad

 Palakurthi Vision-Aid Center

 

This became the first location in the All India roll-out. The photos above shows Volunteer President of Vision-Aid India (Dr. Col. Sitaram) and Board member (Mr. Y.V.Ramana) with the beneficiaries and the entire LVPEI Vision Rehab team.

The Nethra Blind School in Vizag

The Nethra Blind School in Vizag

The Nethra Blind schools in Vizag and Hyderabad have been long-standing partners of Vision-Aid, serving poor and rural children and youth from rural areas, with high-quality, free education (K-12 plus college). The photo shows our Vizag team with the students and the Nethra team, at the ceremony.

Sankara Nethralaya’s in Chennai

Sankara Nethralaya (SN) has been a trusted long term partner for many years, and the smart phone distribution event was attended by the entire SN leadership team, Low Visoin/Rehab and Vision-Aid India team in Chennai. The news report from the Indian Express and Hindeu provide good coverage of the event.

Indian Express

Indian Express Coverage

The Hindu

Click on the following link to see the article in The Hindu

https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/tamil-nadu/smartphones-distributed-to-the-visually-impaired/article37244212.ece

The Vandana & Vivek Sharma Vision-Aid Resources Center in Agra

 image 8

Around 20 blind students from the Agra region were happy to receive their devices, and commence their training with Vision-Aid. The members of the center were delighted to have Vandana Sharma at the event!

Upcoming locations

The above are just the first steps in a massive roll out planned in coming days all over in India.  Vision-Aid is planning to taget its other centers including the Gupta Vision-Aid Center in Delhi, the Srinvasan Vision-Aid centers in VHS Chennai and Aravind  Eye Hospital in Madurai, Ayyar Vision-Aid Center at CECF Pune and many others.

Vision-Aid sincerely thank everyone who has made this wonderful, life-changing program possible including the donors who donated smart phones,the team members and volunteers. May these smart-phones and the technology they contain lighten up the lives of many visually impaired in this festival season!

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