They say, "Every Human is born with an ability unique to their own" but we don’t often get to experience the depth of this saying in our day-to-day lives. On one pleasant Saturday morning, we at Torry Harris Integration Solutions took the initiative to organize a visit to the Snehadeep Trust for the Disabled, an institution dedicated to empowering and supporting visually impaired individuals. I would like to recount my visit to the Snehadeep Foundation, highlighting the remarkable work carried out by the organization and some moments that left a lasting impression on me.
I am a Software Developer Engineer working at Torry Harris Integration Solutions and a part of the CSR initiatives of our company. We had planned a visit to the Snehadeep Trust for the Disabled as part of our CSR activity. Our motivation was to engage the crowd in some fun activities and encourage them to thrive and upskill. But little did we know that in return, they would leave us empowered and encouraged as we watched the resilience with which each one of them carried themselves.
We were a team of 10-12 members. As we entered the premises of Snehadeep, Mr. Paul warmly welcomed each of us personally with a friendly handshake and a warm smile. It was immediately evident that this was a place filled with positive energy, resilience, and determination. Mr. Paul is visually impaired, and he heads the entire Snehadeep Trust. He shook hands with each one of us and asked for our names. Moments later I was surprised to see that he recalled all our names as he introduced us to the crowd.
It was a room filled of about 25-30 people who had visual impairments varying from partial vision, color-blinded vision to no vision at all. All these beautiful people had joined us here to celebrate what we call "Ethnic Day" and were all elegantly dressed in sarees, suits and traditional dhotis.
We began the event by lighting the lamps as we traditionally do on any occasion. The lamps were set up and arranged by Snehadeep and its people. At this point in time, I noticed two things that struck me hard. The first was a boy with visual impairments who was carrying a candle to light the lamps. While none of us had noticed that the candle was flickering, this boy who could not see the candle had already sensed that the fan was running, and he realized that the candle could go off. He ran to turn off the fan even before we could act.
Secondly, the same boy helped Mr. Paul walk up to the dais while holding his hand and the candle. To watch the beauty of two people who were blind as they held onto each other was heartwarming. Our team had 2 events planned for the day and we commenced with introductions of each individual. We requested them to introduce themselves with their names and an adjective that best described them. This brought in many laughs, cheers and sweet little teases among them. The students, despite their visual impairments exuded confidence and happiness, creating an atmosphere that was both inspiring and uplifting.
We then started with the first event - the singing competition. We had many participants and witnessed how the crowd cheered for their buddies. Shortly after, we had an ideathon event where people were split into groups to discuss the topic of "business ideas for a green city" and present it. We were amazed to see the teamwork and their unique and thoughtful ideas.
We were told by Mr. Paul that there are many aspiring software developers and technology enthusiasts at Snehadeep. Snehadeep is doing commendable work in providing the necessary training and sessions for skilling these aspirants. These training programs not only provide them with livelihood opportunities but also instill a sense of self-worth and independence. With a team of dedicated staff members and volunteers, Snehadeep Foundation is striving to create a nurturing environment where the blind can develop their skills, gain independence, and lead fulfilling lives.
Soon after, we were told that Snehadeep had a game planned for us, too. We were made to play "hit the matka" where we had to hit a hanging pot using a stick, while completely blindfolded. It was a really fun game.
Visiting the Snehadeep Foundation for the Blind was a profound experience that deepened my understanding and appreciation for the visually impaired community. The unwavering spirit, resilience and talent displayed by the students at the foundation left an indelible mark on my heart. This visit reinforced the significance of inclusive education, vocational training, and providing opportunities for the differently abled to showcase their abilities.
We rolled out some prizes for the winners, some goodies for the rest and called it a day.
Software Developer Engineer