A team of six visually impaired people, including a girl from Pune, Maharashtra, arrived at Hussainiwala, the joint check post on the Indo-Pakistan border, on Friday, to celebrate ‘Bhaiya Dooj’ with Border Security Force (BSF) personnel.
Members of the Prerna, a non-governmental organisation (NGO), working for the welfare of the blind in Pune, these visually-challenged youth have been celebrating Diwali and other festivals with jawans of security forces deployed on the borders of the nation for the last 13 years and this year they visited Hussainiwala, 10 km from here.
“We have come here to express our solidarity with the jawans and celebrate ‘Bhaiya Dooj’, which they can’t celebrate being away from their homes,” said Varsha, a 23-year-old student of BCom from Pune.
“In fact, visually impaired people have close association with soldiers as the first-ever Braille-like script was used by soldiers as they could read it even in the dark, during war campaigns and sieges. When Louis Braille met Napoleon Bonaparte, the great French conqueror, he took up the idea of refining the script. So, in a way, soldiers were the first to use Braille,” said Satish Nawale, a 33-year-old member of the Prerna and Station Director of Braille Vani Radio.
“We are trying to bring in effective interaction between the blind and the people and develop skilled capabilities in visually challenged students with the help of ‘Braille Vani Education Radio’ and advanced technology,” said another team member Milend Kamble, 33, who is otherwise working in a cooperative bank.
Ketan Baliram Patil, superintendent of police, Ferozepur, Bhupinder Singh, assistant commandant, and local social activist Harish Monga welcomed them and applauded their gesture.
The team celebrated the event with BSF jawans and disbursed sweets among them which they had brought from Pune.