The NGO and Newz66.com are in the process of raising about Rs. 10 lakh in donations and sponsorship from the corporate sector to support and finance the career goals of these thousand plus youngsters.
Announcing this project on the day of Vijaya Dashami or Dussehra, blind celebrity healer and chairman of Blind Dreams, Samir Mansuri said, "On Aug 24 this year, more than 300 blind and differently-enabled youth from all over Maharashtra participated in the western zone round of auditions for the Blind Dreams' Talent Hunt for the disabled or differently enabled."
"The auditions were held at the Kamla Mehta School for the Blind at Dadar in Central Mumbai. Most participants came from far off towns and villages in Maharashtra and Gujarat," he said.
Said Mansuri, "Over the last 45 days auditions were held in various cities in India and we have shortlisted about 1000 talented youth who will be specially felicitated and given sponsorship and donations to help them pursue their career goals including those from the performing arts, software and financial services sector."
"The overwhelming response to the Blind Dreams' Talent Hunt for the differently enabled and visually impaired is an indication that differently enabled youth are otherwise as talented as their colleagues and sometimes even more talented in certain fields like music, singing, acting, etc.," he noted.
"All differently enabled should come together in a show of strength to demand their rightful place in society and in the day-to-day working of organizations and corporates," Mansuri said.
He said there is lack of support and empathy from various sectors including the police and civic agencies.
He also demanded that all public places, railway stations, airports, government offices, etc., should be enabled to provide the differently enabled a level playing field.
Blind Dreams and Newz66.com have formed a panel of eminent persons including Bollywood photographer Raju Asrani, TV actress Sheila David, actress and model Nisha Sharma, TV actors Rashmi Ghosh and husband Siddharth, HR professional Mamta Namdeo (herself blind who works with SBI as an HR manager) and several others to monitor and co-ordinate the event and help in the fund-raising activity for this ambitious project.
--IBNS (Posted on 16-10-2013)