Governor’s speech at the inauguration of the ‘All India Flag Day for the Blind’
Inauguration of the ‘All India Flag Day for the Blind’ organized by the National Association for the Blind (NAB) at Conference Hall, Raj Bhavan, Mumbai at 11 AM on Friday, 14 September 2018
Shri Rameshwar Kalantri, President, National Association for the Blind, Maharashtra, Shri Suryabhan Salunkhe, Vice President, Shri Gopi Mayur, Honorary General Secretary, National Association for the Blind, all office bearers and volunteers of National Association for the Blind, ladies and gentlemen…
At the outset I extend a hearty welcome to all of you to Raj Bhavan.
I thank the National Association for the Blind for celebrating the Flag Day for the Blind every year, and importantly, for associating the Governor with the celebrations.
This provides me an opportunity to understand the problems and issues of the visually impaired and other differently-abled persons from you.
For more than sixty years, NAB has been doing commendable work of education, training and rehabilitation of visually challenged persons, for which all of you, deserve my wholehearted compliments.
Before coming for this programme, I went through the list of pending proposals sent by NAB to my office.
Issues highlighted by you such as appointment of a special teacher for blind girl students, creation of sensory gardens in all Municipal Corporation Areas in the State and conducting of Taluka-wise and district-wise survey of the Blind, Deaf-Blind and persons with multiple disability, are important and need attention and consideration.
I also endorse the view that blind persons should be provided the ballot paper in the Braille. This issue can be taken up with the State Election Commission.
As India aspires to become a global leader, it can not leave out the major segment of the visually-challenged and other differently-abled persons, who together constitute the largest minority in the world.
‘Digital India’ is a transformative idea that can be harnessed to help the blind and visually impaired persons. Digital technology can enable people with visual impairment to enter the mainstream of employment market. Today many blind people are working in Information Technology, Banking, Hospitality and various other sectors.
NAB must approach major companies with a request to create apprenticeship positions for the visually – challenged persons. Secondly, NAB should also encourage the visually-challenged persons to become entrepreneurs.
NAB Maharashtra is lucky to have a powerful voice in the State Legislature in the form of MLC Shri Hemant Takle, who is also the Vice President of NAB. Some of the issues faced by NAB can be highlighted in the Legislature and others can be taken up with the concerned Ministers.
India is home to the world’s largest number of blind people. With diabetes cases rising, the number of people with blindness and low vision may rise. More than 80 per cent of India’s blind live in small towns and remote villages where access to advanced eye treatment is lacking.
We need collective efforts to prevent preventable blindness and to correct low vision. It is here that the NAB has to play an important role.
I congratulate the National Association for the Blind on this joyous occasion and commend its multifarious work for the welfare of the visually-challenged.
Thank you !