22 Dec Blind walk 2020
Kindness is the language which the deaf can hear and the blind can see and being able to bring the smallest ray of sunshine into the lives of the people who are deemed to spend their lives in darkness is indeed an act of humanity.
“BLIND WALK” is one such award-winning initiative which focuses on alleviating the plight of the visually impaired by taking steps to make their lives better. For the year 2020, the project was set out under the theme of ‘Hope in Sight’ which was initially planned to be implemented on the 10th of October 2020 with the main organizer being the Rotary Club of Colombo Midtown and to be equally organized by the sponsoring Clubs namely Rotaract Club of Colombo Midtown, Rotaract Club of Achievers Lanka Business School, Rotaract Club of ACBT and Rotaract Club of University Of Colombo Faculty of Management and Finance.
But unfortunately, due to the turmoil in the country created by the global pandemic, the walk was replaced by a talk show and was done through a virtual platform which was featured as Rotaract’s first ever online donation campaign. The talk show was conducted by adhering to all the health and safety guidelines provided by the Health Ministry and was streamed live on YouTube via ROTARACT TV channel.
The show was hosted by non-other than our very own President, Rtr. Aamina Ismail, the President of the Rotaract Club of University of Colombo Faculty of Management and Finance. She was joined by two guests, Rtn. PHF Mayur Varia and Rtn. PHF PP Hussain Fazlebas.
Rtn. Mayur Varia brought out the facts about the international sight day. He said that the World sight day was initiated by the World Health Organization and falls on every second Thursday of October every year, but it is managed by IAPD (International Agency for the Prevention of Blindness). Moreover, the main reason behind the projects of this nature is to abolish preventable blindness all over the world and to raise awareness among the people he said. One of the facts which left the audience devastated was that, close to 10% of the Sri Lankan Population are visually impaired.
Rtn. Hussain mentioned about the history of the concept of BLIND WALK, where it came from and where it all started. ‘Project vision’ was the main influence for the concept of BLIND WALK. It took place in Bangalore which was initiated by Father George Kanamthnamm in 2013. BLIND WALK concept has come a long way where it is been held in 55 countries worldwide. He also mentioned that this project was brought out to show people how to function themselves without eyesight where you practically experience it in the previous physical walks by blindfolding the eyes and walking about 1Km.
The talk show with two gentlemen came to an end with inviting all to donate for this beautiful cause and all the donations will be directed towards Helping out the visually impaired people.
Then the program had few words from the founder of this event Father George Kanamthnamm where he showed that how important it is to help the blind and prevent blindness and help the ones in need for a better tomorrow.
Next up was the address by the District Rotaract Representative Rtn. Rtr. PP Kasun Sigera. He mentioned that Rotaract has always been taking challenges and been up to the tasks whenever needed and stated that it shows the bond between the Rotary Club and Rotaract Clubs. Then he humbly requested everyone to help this worthy cause and to be part of it. ''Be there to help such worthy causes as BLIND WALK where you could be assisting financially so that you know we could help another person see the world". He ended his message with this beautiful saying.
Then the talk show was concluded by the President of Rotaract Club of University of Colombo Faculty of Management and Finance with the hope to have a walk in 2021.
At the end of the program, the Mid Town family announced that they were able to raise total of LKR 211,000 together to give light to those who need sight.
The donations collected were then made to the Sri Lanka Welfare Society of Blind Women on the 23rd of December (Today) at the municipal grounds of Ja-Ela from 9.30 am onwards. The donations included dry rations for 45 families with at least one member being visually impaired, 50 white canes, and most importantly self-employment incentives needed for startup purposes for 5 deserving families who are still battling it out despite being visually impaired.
The Rotarians from the Rotary Club of Colombo Midtown, together with Rotaractors from the sponsored Rotaract clubs took part in the donation. Amongst them was our very own Rtr. Nikhil (Director of Club Service) and Rtr. Oshadi (Director for Membership Development) contributing to the worthy cause.
Thank you to everyone who generously contributed to this great cause. Join the next walk, to feel their plight and to bring a ray of sunshine to their lives!
Rtr. Thirandi Dharmawardhana
Rtr. Razna Farook
(Blog Team Member – 2020-21)