Welcome May and the office at TorchIt was in mayhem, as one after the other events kept coming up. Right from pre-preparations to managing the post-event buzz, it was a power-packed month. Despite all the last-minute rushes and chaos, these were definitely one of the most rewarding 31 days in the history of TorchIt!
1. We distributed about 2,000 Saarthi devices to the visually impaired persons and trained them about the use of the device
Many events were conducted in blind schools and other organizations/institutes for the differently-abled communities in the region, initiating self-reliance in visually impaired and blind across all genders and age groups. While 500 devices were given in Manipur, between 200 and 300 devices were distributed in each of the three states of Tripura, Meghalaya, and Assam.
2. The event was a Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) project by Oil India Ltd. (OIL) in association with Innovation & Incubation Centre (IIC), PDPU
The CSR branch of Oil India Ltd. with its social vision of committing to “socio-economic development in its areas of operation” provided TorchIt financial support for this project while IIC provided multi-pronged support, from marketing & technology to preparation & execution of the campaign. Blind People’s Association has always been the bridge between TorchIt and other organizations empowering the visually impaired across the country.
3. We collaborated with a host of on-field organizations in the regions
- Government Ideal Blind School, Manipur – A school for children with visual impairment
- Handicapped Development Foundation, Manipur – An organization working towards the development of people with disabilities, providing services ranging from preventive care, education, inclusive community building to capacity building, economic self-sufficiency, and policy implications.
- SAKSHAM, Samadrashti, Kshamata Vikas Evam Anusandhan Mandal – A national charitable organization with the aim to uplift people with disabilities, especially, the visually impaired. Their projects range from rehabilitation, providing assistive technology, and the opportunity to educate and train people with disabilities.
- Bethany Society, Shillong, Meghalaya – A non-profit, secular, charitable society established to create opportunities for persons with disabilities and the rural poor through inclusive, sustainable, barrier-free, and rights-based, using the Community Based Rehabilitation (CBR) approach.
- Montfort High School, Guwahati, Assam– An inclusive education institution, situated on the outskirts of Guwahati, it caters to various educational needs of children and youth including education for people with hearing impairments, visual impairments, and physical, mental, and developmental disabilities.
- Shishu Sarothi Foundation, Guwahati, Assam – A leading not-for-profit organization focused on early intervention and rehabilitation, education, opportunities, and livelihoods, advocacy and awareness as well as protection of rights and legal aid for children and persons with disabilities in North East India. They work towards creating an inclusive and non-discriminating environment for people with disabilities and helping them achieve their full potential.
- Guwahati Blind High School, Assam – A vernacular co-educational institute for blind children from classes I to X. A Braille library was recently inaugurated on the school campus.
- Abhoy Mission, Agartala, Tripura – A non-profit, voluntary organization, which provides well-structured and multi-dimensional services to persons with disabilities and senior citizens through care, protection, education, and rehabilitation.
- Naga Blind Association, Dimapur, Nagaland – Established in 2000
- Moran Blind School, Moranhat, Assam – Founded by Major S.N. Banerjee in 1971 as Janamangal Adarsha Andha Bidyalaya (Bruno), the school has today developed a beautiful campus serving many blind children in the state
- National Federation of the Blind, Assam
- Mizoram Blind School, Mizoram
4. We met our youngest beneficiary in Shillong, Meghalaya!
TorchIt’s work has impacted thousands of people across all ages and genders, however what was the highlight of its Northeast India journey was that their youngest beneficiary from Jyoti Sroat School, Bethany Society, Shillong, Meghalaya was a 5-year old kid.
- Words of appreciation from our partners
All the partner organizations were glad at the prospect of enhanced mobility and quality of life for the visually impaired in the region now with the help of Saathi. They deeply appreciated our efforts and wished us success for our upcoming initiatives.
“Team TorchIt provided excellent service in the matter of distribution of the device, demonstration of using it, and precautionary measures to be taken by the users.” Abhoy Mission, Agartala, Tripura
We are equally grateful to all of them for their generous support and assistance to TorchIt in making our North East mission a huge success. We hope to continue strengthening our ties with these and build new partnerships with many more like-minded organizations.
To us, every state in the region felt like a different country in itself united by the breath-taking beauty and above all, by our enriched experience of meeting and interacting with hundreds of beneficiaries throughout the journey. We’re grateful to all our partners and supporters because of whom we got this opportunity. We’re also optimistic that Saarthi will enhance the lives of the visually impaired in the region, empowering them to lead more meaningful, independent, and connected lives.
Catch a glimpse of the entire odyssey on our social media page: /torchitt on Facebook or @mytorchit on Instagram