Pune: While finding accommodation as well as inclusive transport, education and other amenities is a huge task for the visually impaired even in a rapidly developing city like Pune, some good samaritans in the city are doing their best to make life simpler for this section of the society.
Sunil Nevarekar, of the famous Nevarekar Health Home in Budhwar Peth, has provided accommodation to around 12 visually impaired students, who have come to the city from different parts of the State to pursue their dreams. While pursuing their studies, these young men are also following their passions, with due encouragement from Nevarekar and others.
Amol Karche, one of the visually impaired students, who is also a passionate cricketer, was a part of the Team India that beat South Africa in the Blind Cricket World Cup’s final match to emerge as a champion.
Speaking about his passion, Karche said, “I am pursuing my bachelors in political science at Savitribai Phule Pune University (SPPU). I absolutely love playing cricket but I won’t pursue it as a career simply because the disabled don’t have much scope to look at sports as a career option. However, I won’t stop playing it for leisure.”
Nevarekar said, “These students are very talented. Amol has played in and won the World Cup. Most of our students have played at national and international levels. Some are doing great in the field of music. However, we always feel that the government isn’t doing enough for these kids. Till Std X, they get good facilities, however, after that, they face nothing else but struggle,” Nevarekar said.
“Apart from this, we also felicitate the students with good academic performance. We are sad that we can only provide regular accommodation facility to a few students. But, we try to include as many visually impaired students in the city in our other activities, such as while celebrating festivals, organising tours, etc,” Nevarekar said.
One of the students, Madhav Biradkar, who plays the harmonium and runs an orchestra, said, “It’s a struggle for us everywhere once we step out of our school. Whether it’s to find accommodation, get transport facilities, or even jobs, we have to fight for practically everything. In such a situation, good samaritans like Nevarekar are like our support systems.”