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Malvani-Based Ngo Felicitates Blind Men

Editor's Note: This article is reprinted from the Mid-Day Metro (India), October 27, 2004.

The NGO Blind Organisation of India (BOI) celebrated its second anniversary on Oct. 23 at Ramzanali High School in Malvani. The function commemorated its 165 blind members and their efforts in bringing about a difference in their own lives.

"We have tried to provide for the basic needs of the blind, which are work and shelter. Our aim is to discourage begging," says MB Khan, the president of the organization.

Khan, an ex-army officer started the organization in 2002 with the aim of empowering the blind.

The function was attended by inspector MB Karade, Malvani police station and the chief guest was Aslam Shaikh, the corporator of the area who lauded the efforts of the organization.

"I have seen many organizations, but this one has really done tangible work like providing the visually-impaired with PCO booths, giving them vocational training like candle-making, toy-making and also providing them with accommodation," says Shaikh.

All members who were present on the occasion were given sweets and clothing, which was followed by an entertainment programme of song and dance by the members.

Talking about their work Khan says, "We have available space in Gate no. 7, Malvani, to provide for the accommodation of 36 members in the next few months. We also hope to acquire more land in and around Malvani."

Besides accommodation, BOI provides rations to all its members every month, repairs their houses and helps to set up small businesses for them.

"We have also started a small clinic called Navjyot Medical Centre at Gate no. 7, Malvani, where all our members are given free treatment. Other blind people can also avail of medical facilities at nominal costs," says Khan.

The organization depends on private and corporate donations.

Khan informs that the organization has members from various states as well.

"When our blind members go out of town, they meet with other blind people who wish to come to Mumbai for jobs. We then enroll them in our organization and help them out," he says.

However, the organization feels handicapped since, as per government norms, it cannot receive any government aid till it is three years old.

"After a year we will propose a massive accommodation project to the government for aid," says Khan.

prerana@mid-day.com

Contact BOI:

Blind Organisation of India, MT House, New Collector Compound, Gate number 7 Plot number 31/5 Malvani Telefax: 28804569

"BOI makes us feel good."--Manjula Shah, resident of Malvani

"We get monthly rations, medicines and clothes from BOI. My husband works for the National Association for the Blind and I can say that the amount of work BOI has done in two years is commendable. They also organize functions where we can interact with a lot of people which makes us feel good."--Dalpat Bhai Jagahwala, resident of Malvani

"Unlike other organizations, BOI takes care of its members. I'm a member of National Federation for the Blind, Blindman Association and National Association for the Blind. But I don't even get a monthly letter from them. BOI keeps me updated and invites me to their functions."

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