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Flying blind : A Vision from the Sky

By, The Say Foundation Team

Welcome to the season of festivities in India. Marked by the onset of Makar Sankranti also known as Lohri,uttarayan and Pongal in various regions of India Makar Sankranti is celebrated to mark the journey of the sun into the northern hemisphere.

People revel in the warmth of the sun as it dispels the biting winter months and helps the agrarian populations to commence with their occupational activities for the new year. . Families celebrate this occasion by preparing dishes such as khichdi, tilll ladoos and chikki’s to celebrate the new Rabi harvest. Makar Sankranti gains traction world wide because of its kite flying festivities celebrated with cheer and pom by the people of India marking the culmination of winter

Touching the sky

The kites in the sky signify the sense of upliftment breezing above the ground reaching its heights and waving itself to the brand new warmth of the sun. The string attached to the kite which is promptly maneuvered by the owner is the precaution taken to escape any attempt for it to be harmed by other mischievous high fliers. Don’t you think this is quite similar to the lives and stories of people with Disabilities PWDs?

Flight for the blind

When Persons with disabilities are young and unable to visualise what their true potential could be, they might lay crumpled and folded away in the corners of a darkened state of mind. . But then, out of the blue, some kind-hearted people come along and help the kite to begin the process of visualizing their potential.

They take a chance on them by gently taking out the flimsy crumpled paper,polishing, and readjusting their frame of mind a tad to prepare it to be taken out into the world of opportunities as big as they Lohri summer sky. Then they enable them to take off by attaching a string, which acts as the tools of accessibility that PWD’s would use and give it a solid thrust against the tide of the wind.

At first the kites begin to cramp, suffocate, and crash for the first couple of times. But the owner wipes the dust, taking a quick stalk of the minor bruises, and tugs the string one more time after chucking the nervous kite against the direction of the wind.

And before you know it, the kite is 50 feet up in the air, zooming across as if it had belonged to the sky the whole time. It flitters, waves, and dances, beaming with unseen confidence before. This flight is the first escape towards a sense of freedom, a freedom from its mind, which had been cold and cynical all along, helping it in exploring limitless opportunities of the sky. All that the kite relies on now is the gentle tugging of the owner from time to time to maneuver, navigate, and keep its altitude to ensure that the kite doesn’t get carried away by the winds.

Skyline viewing.

Now that the kite is up in the sky, having realized a part of its potential, it realizes that even though they were meant to fly, their journey to take flight began when the kindness of its owner decided to take a chance on it.

Organizations such as The Say Foundation and Xavier’s Resource Centre for the Visually Challenged [XRCVC] take chances on such beautiful kites by acknowledging that the task of refurbishing the kite and ensuring its smooth flight is an unending task. There will be times when the charkha of ensuring the steady flight of the kites will have to change hands from time to time and yet they ensure that this change does not hinder the upward trajectory of these kites.

These kites then dance and thrive in the tunes of the whistling winds, which come in the form of job opportunities, which empower the kites to reach higher and closer to the sun even though they might never be able to ever see nor touch it.

But now they are up there in the sky, breaching new heights, feeling the warmth of the new sunlight coursing through their bodies, and gradually discarding the old, cold despairs of their minds.

Author of this article:

Joshua Lobo is a research scholar in the domain of Political science with a Masters Degree from Delhi University. He aspires to be a research entrepreneur in the fields of Public Policy, comparative politics, and constitutionalism. He is a Person with low vision Disability (90% blindness RodCone distrophe) and is currently an intern.

He writes about finding inclusive and enabling policy solutions for the marginalized sections of society.

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