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I am Mrs. Neena Verghese. I have been associated with LVPEI for the last six years. I have done my masters in child psychology and have a degree in Education. I am teacher by profession and calling, along with being a busy wife, mother and grandmother. After working for a decade as teacher at Little Flower High School, I took a short break to enjoy my role as a home maker.
One day, a casual conversation with my friend, Mrs. Rao, about her work at LVPEi, I opened up another way in which I could make a unique contribution to few precious students’ life. I was happy that as this was consistent with my calling and philosophy, that it is better to do as much good as one can today, for tomorrow the opportunity may be gone.
My afternoons at the recording studio became a source of joy as I completed text book after text book, praying that every student who use my audio and CD materials would be blessed. Some of the books in turn took me through subjects that I had not done before like management, history, law and political science.
During the summer fun camps, my mornings were filled with activities with the school going visually challenged children at LVPEi. It gave me so much of joy to sing along with the children and also teach them songs and action songs in English, which all of them enjoyed and appreciated a lot.
These children are learning to cope with their severe handicaps with a cheer that can only come with the innocence of childhood. A few of these children have gone on to do outstandingly well in their chosen fields.
As volunteers, we also got to see at first hand everything from initial assessment of the child’s condition, the continuing physical as well as psychological therapy, required to integrate that child back into the world with all its challenges.
Without a doubt, no volunteer can go through this experience and remain untouched. It was one of the most humbling experiences to see the dignity and hope with which these children and their parents coped, when compared to the attitudes of those with none of these conditions in the outside world.
I have pleasant memories of getting together with likeminded friends and the staff of LVPEI in organizing picnics and outings with these children and their families.
I have found that there are always listeners with willing hearts at any given place, whose compassionate hearts led them to respond and contribute in meaningful ways. For example the Mars chocolate company who provided with a lot of chocolates at the summer camps and few others who graciously helped with money and clothes.
To conclude in the words of Helen Keller, “I have walked with people whose eyes are full of light, but who see nothing in the sea or the sky, nothing in the city streets and nothing in the books. It was far better to sail for ever in the night of blindness with sense and feeling and mind, than to be content with the mere act of seeing. The only lightless dark is the night of darkness in ignorance and insensibility.”
My association and experience with LVPEI has been very rewarding and profound.
I CAN stop with this sentence.
But I wish to share with you all, how the benefits of working as a ‘volunteer’ here, unfolded slowly bringing about a change in my perspective about life.
- I work with the ‘Audio Library’ department. In all the years I have been coming here, not once did I see any child or the parents looking unhappy or following in self pity. I only saw grit and courage in their faces. This is the most profound lesson I learnt. Acceptance I slowly learnt not to react to the turbulences in my life.
- The ever smiling, hard working and friendly team (Beula & Co.) taught me to smile more and work harder with commitment. I learnt HUMILITY.
- In the process of recording and from the feedback I got I realized I can read / speak well and that I enjoy it too! That leads me to ‘Toastmasters club’ which is a forum for improving public speaking and leadership skills. Here I am learning to speak better, interact with people more effectively, to organize and express my thoughts better and overcome my inhibitions in facing an audience my work at LVPEI helped me discover my PASSION.
- I noticed a pattern evolving; one good action heads leads to more positive actions. The ripples of a good deed are infinite!
- I am me this opportunity to experience the joy in helping others in GIVING.
Love you all
Our experience with the rehab center has been inspiring. It is a pleasure to work with all the staff who are extremely dedicated in helping visually challenged. The staff is very innovative and we always see them coming up with new ideas and new programs.
Varsha Kulkarni, Nitesh Kulkarni
I congratulate the LVPEI & Rehabilitation team for their wonderful work among the visually challenged. I enjoy working as a volunteer here. I derive satisfaction and thank God for the opportunity to contribute my mite in the mighty task under taken by LVPEI & its Rehabilitation team.
This will enable me to understand my lacunae and fine-tune my work to be more meaningful to the user. This can also lead to a higher amount of emotional involvement in the work.
After my retirement from FCI, when I was looking forward to a meaningful occupation of my free time, Mr. TAN Murthy, my senior colleague has guided me to LVPEI. Having passion for the languages and literature I opted to record Telugu language books. The books ranged from 10th to PG. During this period the institute has acquired digital studio for recording purpose. Recording of books is a unique experience. During my stint with the institute, I had an opportunity to render assistance to some of the students by reading out English and other subjects. I was also privileged to be a scribe to an intermediate I year student. The experience of writing exams has made me nostalgic as they brought back 5 decades of old memories. It has also left me with a deep sense of fulfillment. Each interaction with the ‘highly abled students’ broadened my outlook and made me realize that blindness does not necessarily bring darkness as each one of them radiate sparkling rays of confidence and exude dazzling sense of determination. I wish to play a bigger role and look forward to longer association with the institute which is extending a Noble service to the society.
MY ASSOCIATION WTIH THE REHAB UNIT OF LVEPI
I should say that our initial contact with LVPEI started somewhere in the early nineties.
After this I was attracted to the Rehab Unit because of our daughter’s low vision requirement
Initially I used to accompany my daughter who must have been around 5 or 6 years to the Rehab Unit. Today I certainly feel somewhat satisfied when I find my daughter attending the Rehab Unit to offer data entry service as a volunteer on a daily basis.
During those initial days I got to observe from those attending the Rehab Unit the various stages of blindness and the yearning for knowledge especially when there were no multiple deficiencies. What I got to see firsthand was how the other faculties such as hearing and touch etc. support in such cases and sharpen the intellect. This directly aids the process of knowledge acquisition in these visually challenged boys and girls. The strong sense of commitment in these boys and girls to the process of learning and practice is something which has to be seen and experienced.
Perhaps this commitment which I got to see in these boys and girls is what motivated me to take up recording on video tapes (there were no CD’s at that time) lessons be it English, History or Law from text books. I would take the books and tapes to my home and record the said lessons and return them back to the Rehab unit. These boys and girls would listen to the recordings and assimilate without any other help..
My joyous moment beyond doubt was when at one of the meets recently at the Rehab Unit with all the old boys and girls after my talk one of the visually challenged boys openly announced my name and said he was able to do this after having heard my voice over the microphone!
While it is doubtless that our daughter has immensely improved her skills from the Rehab Unit to the extent that she herself is a volunteer today, the interaction with the Rehab unit personally for me in the initial days provided the exposure to get to see many cases to comfort myself that we were not alone in finding a path for rehabilitation for our daughter.
What I have come to believe is that not being able to see the world is by itself a terrible feeling leave alone the reality in the cases of these boys and girls. Anything we could do to enable these boys and girls participate in those beautiful things of nature that we get to see would be a rewarding exercise by itself. The annual sports and cultural meet of the Rehab Unit exhibiting talents hidden or other wise of these boys and girls is one such demonstration of how these boys and girls have come to terms with life without physical vision. Indeed an apt lesson for all of us in preparing ourselves to face lesser problems of life.
I am a post graduate in English from Andhra University (MA Lit). A graduate in science (B.Sc) with physics as mains and , mathematics and chemistry as ancillaries. I have completed graduation (BEd) in Education and a Certificate in teaching of English (PGCTE) from CIEFL
Hyderabad. worked as a PGT in many schools and colleges. In one of the experiences I was an Asst professor for Indian Institute of Rural management Jaipur. The passion for teaching drives me towards teaching for a reason with age group as no bar. It is a dream to spread more
and more awareness in education, as a volunteer skype classes are also a means of imparting knowledge to the under privileged (yousee.in). Reading books for the visually impaired, translation and editing are some of the other fields that I have been working very
keenly till date (as a Volunteer).
I have always wanted to give something back to society as I have had a very nice upbringing; I have never faced any challenges and feel I should be of some help as I have been so fortunate. Through other volunteers I found out about LVPEI. I found myself volunteering in Rehabilitation with children and adults who suffer from low vision or blindness. I was recording audio books, creating Braille books and writing exams for the children. It was a wonderful experience and I found the staff were very dedicated. I enjoyed it so much I stayed for 6 years!
Ms. Rosy Diwakar
I have been volunteering in Rehab for over 13 years now and I have no doubt that staff at the institute are completely co-operative and helpful to both patients and co-workers. I was referred here by Dr. Vikas Mahatme from Nagpur. I am a teacher in Hyderabad and I believe that my skills in the occupation were very useful when working in rehab. It helped me to inculcate discipline and it gave me great satisfaction as I taught people of low vision. It has been a dream of mine to make my children well educated and good citizens, I am doing this by leading by example. Hopefully they will see me being a good citizen volunteering in LVPEI and do something as worthwhile in their life too.
Mrs. Aruna N Parvate
I have always wanted to work in social service so LVPEI was perfect for me. In the past I have done a little bit of social work and I very much enjoyed it. 3 years ago I was introduced to LVPEI by a friend of mine who was already volunteering in the rehab centre. I am a home maker but I have a diploma and my family are all engaged in competitive educational backgrounds, that is how it’s always been. In Rehab it gave me a chance to have a break from all that and indulge in a caring side of myself. I have found that the team in LVPEI is very co-operative and great to work with.
Mrs. P Syarmala Devi
I enrolled myself to read books that would help people of low vision and blindness. I did this for a good cause and to make my father proud as he was the one who inspired me to be a special educator. Working with special needs children is altogether different and each child enhances my interest to train them in all possible ways. In rehab I am very satisfied by the work they are giving me and I feel I am making a real difference. I also feel that my M.A. B.Ed (NR) (Special Education) is being put to good use.
Mrs. R Gayathri
Having retired from being a bank manager for 22 years I decided I wanted to try something different as I found my previous job extremely challenging. I asked around for worthwhile places that may need some help or service from me. I had always hoped I could help out someway in my life. This led me to begin volunteering at L V Prasad Eye Institute. Here I was working in the rehabilitation centre for people who unfortunately suffered from low vision, complete blindness and sometimes learning difficulties as well. My work varied but I enjoyed recording the Audio books for blind people the most. Having lost both my wife and mother, volunteering was very good for me and I have been working here for more than 5 years now and have no reason to stop. Overall I would say that LVPEI gives a good service and is a very developed hospital. At the age of 66 I feel too young to stop working but to old to be a bank manager – LVPIE was perfect for my situation.
B. Rama Rao