RIO’s ‘Punarjyothi’ offers helping hand to visually impaired in TVM

Maneesha Prashanth 

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Shilpa working at the paper
bag making factory

Thiruvananthapuram: ‘Punarjyothi’, a rehabilitation centre set up to aid blind and partially sighted people, has proven to be a lifesaver for many in the capital city.

Shilpa, a visually impaired native of Gowreesapattom, came to know about ‘Punarjyothi’ while going through some hard times in her life. At the time, she was forced to quit her studies owing to repeated insults from fellow students.

Battling against odds, Shilpa attended counselling, completed her graduation and became an employee at a paper bag making unit in the city; all thanks to Punarjyothi in Thiruvananthapuram.

‘Punarjyothi’, set up jointly by the Kerala government and the alumni association of the Regional Institute of Ophthalmology (RIO), aims to provide services to visually challenged patients across the state.

Under the project, each patient is examined in detail to assess the degree of visual disability and to determine the appropriate visual aid to help in his or her visual rehabilitation.

Training facilities to walk with a white cane, use special talking software and to do daily household activities are provided to the needy. Expert psychiatric help is also provided to those depressed due to the visual disability.

Currently, the project is being monitored by the office-bearers of RIO alumni association, including president Dr K Mahadevan, secretary Dr Mini Mathew, treasurer Dr Akkamma Mathew and coordinator BT Shanthi.

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