by Aneesh Bhanot
There are many ways how one can provide
much needed and valued service to society, especially
the physically and visually challenged.
Rotarians, the world over, pour their passion,
integrity and intelligence into completing projects
that have a lasting impact. Some Rotarians
believe in a focussed approach, that is, identifying
particular segments who they feel need urgent
and immediate help, putting in their 100 percent
efforts in being of service to them and making
sure that there is continuity in all that they do.
Rotary Chandigarh Shivalik believes in this
approach and its members have done amazing
work in the segments they have selected.
One susch segment is the Visually Challenged.
The members of RCS realised that most visually
challenged students come from a very poor background.
While their education is free till they are
in school, they run into economic problems when
they try to go in for higher education. The fees,
the books, the hostel costs are killing that some
give up their studies midway.
RCS decided to focus on them and not only get
funds for them but also respect in the eyes of the
seeing. So here was born the Charity ‘Rotary Dinner
in the Dark’.
In a totally pitch dark room in Hotel Taj, a team
of visually challenged persons (Shiv, Navjot,
Amrinder, Mita, Soni and Mohit) guide the ‘sighted’
to their seats and then serve a full four course
dinner to them! Prior to this, the team gives tips
for dining in darkness to the sighted.
In the room you can’t even see your own nose,
but our visually challenged champions float
around, serving food, cracking jokes and singing
away to glory. It is a serious but fun event.
Through the funds from this dinner, RCS provides
scholarships to visually challenged students
for their higher studies. These students are selected
through an in-depth process by a Selection
Panel headed by J Jyara, an educationist who is
also visually challenged.
Till now, in the last 30 months, scholarships
worth Rs. 6,00,000 have been given by RCS.
by Aneesh Bhanot