Two visually impaired youngsters in Indore who double up as radio jockeys while holding regular jobs in banks have blended a perfect balance to realise their dream of making a difference in the lives of people like them.
Shyaam Sharma and Gitesh Gehlot belong to a team of 19 visually-challenged radio jockeys associated with Udaan. They said they got the idea of starting a dedicated radio station for blind people to teach them about new electronic gadgets and computer software.
“We have an entire network of people who are visually impaired and we chat with each other on WhatsApp and Skype and that is how the concept of starting a dedicated radio programme came and we decided to volunteer and do our bit,” says Sharma.
The reason behind the radio station was to help blind people, says Sharma, the technical brain behind the initiative.
“I started taking session on radio and explained to the listeners how to operate a gadget or software. My aim was to help blind people like me to become independent,” he says.
“I decided to work as a part-time radio jockey for an educational program while continuing with my job at the bank,” says Sharma, who compares a programme called Tech-city.
The programme helps people to know about new software and gadgets, he says. “We teach visually impaired people about different software and key board shortcuts to operate them.”
Gitesh Gehlot, who conducts a 20-20 quiz programme on the radio talk-shows, says the programme gives students an opportunity to prepare themselves for competitive exams. “In my programme I ask students questions related to bank, UPSC exams and other competitive exams,” he says.
The road to fulfill their dreams was not that easy, he says. “The government does little for us. There are no books or study material for blind students and they face a lot of difficulty and often drop out.”
Sharma says they do not get any government fund to run their radio station. “The entire funding is done by us are operating it as internet radio. People who have a stable job contribute their bit…”
The duo want the government to allot them a radio frequency for the station as it will be a boon for the visually impaired people.
“Not everyone can afford a good internet connection or even a device that connects them to the web. By shifting us to a normal frequency even youngsters who are not financially well-off, can listen to our programmes and learn things,” says Sharma.