On June 26, Sightsavers, a development organization that works to prevent avoidable blindness, restore sight and advocate for social inclusion and equal rights for people with disabilities recently organized a photography workshop for the visually impaired. The photography workshop sponsored by HH Sheikha Arwa Al Qassimi taught participants how to take good photographs portraying their day-to-day life. The workshop emphasized the ability of the visually impaired and was the first in a series of nationwide events called “The Blind View.”
These advocacy events are being held in association with Beyond Sight Foundation (BSF).
Princess Arwa Al Qassimi previously worked with Sightsavers to organize “Ability of Disability – A Night of Melody” in Mumbai. The event showcased the talents of disabled artists and the nationally known Abhijeet Sawant. Her Highness also helped to organize Food for Change, a fundraiser in which global philanthropists gathered to network and contribute to social change through charitable giving. One hundred percent of all donations went to the organization of the donor’s choice; beneficiary programs included those geared toward educating children, providing shelter to the elderly, subsidizing medical costs for poor patients, and rehabilitating mentally ill homeless women.
The best photographs produced from “The Blind View” will be showcased at three exhibits to be held later this year, according to Mr. Partho Bhowmick, founder of the BSF.
Both HH Sheikha Arwa Al Qassimi and Sightsaver’s Jatin Tiwari have discussed about the hopes to bring the initiative to the UAE.
“The key objective behind this innovative initiative was to look beyond blindness and motivate the participants to believe in themselves and pursue their interest,” Partho Bhowmick, the founder of BSF said.
The workshop participants were trained under the supervision of skilled experts, including Bhavesh Patel, a renowned visually impaired photographer, was one of the skilled experts supervising the training. Patel recently produced a photo with Bollywood actress Katrina Kaif for a Lux ad.
The purpose of the event was set forth by Mr. Amal Gupta, a senior manager for Sightsavers. “Our main goal in organizing the event was to showcase the ability of disabled people and to offer an enabling environment to the visually challenged. Our hopes are that they can contribute to the economy rather than being dependent on it.”
“The Blind View” will positively transform your perceptions of blindness forever when you view the eye-opening photographs taken by – and of – people with visual impairment, as they conduct everyday activities.
There is more to blindness than not seeing. We need to recognize one can “see” beyond appearances. Hence, “I’ve” lost my sight; not vision,” conveys the meaning of this educational and inspiring journey through the visions of people living in a sightless world.
The culture and physical environment of some countries often makes it impossible for people with blindness to access common experiences that most of us take for granted. Simply activities such as reading books, operating appliances such as washing machines, withdrawing money from an ATM, or boarding a bus or train all require assistance. The Blind View is seeking to end this injustice by encouraging the government to enact and enforce laws that ensure products and services, printed materials, and public transportation are made completely accessible to the visually impaired.