Tamso Ma Jyotir Gamah-------We HELP THE BLIND HELP THEMSELVES------from darkness lead unto light

The National Association for the Blind, India (NAB) established in Mumbai on 19th January 1952, with its 22 State branches, 65 Districts branches & 11 Institutions for Blind Welfare, is the largest voluntary organization for the welfare of blind in India. NAB is espousing the cause of creating awareness in society about preventing and curing blindness. The association is rendering valuable service to the society by developing educational, vocational and employment services for the incurable blind children and adults through its vast network in the country. The activities of NAB include Movement for Prevention and Cure of Blindness, Education/Vocational Training, Employment/Rehabilitation, Care of multiple-handicapped Blind, Visually impaired Children and aged, Cyber Cafes for Blind, Braille and Talking centers. Requirements of both urban and rural blind have also been taken up by NAB, keeping in mind, the infrastructure and financial constraints.

NAB, Chandigarh was registered on 4th Feb., 1990 under Societies Registration Act of 1860. The branch actually started functioning from 2004 with the induction of fresh team headed by Sh Vinod Chadha. The sole object of chandigarh branch is to serve the neglected segments of blind welfare in Chandigarh i.e. for elderly, aging & newly blind men & women for whom no service is existed so far. It is dedicated to the upliftment of the quality of life of the visually challenged and integrating them with mainstream society.

The Word "Blind" includes people having complete loss of sight and very low vision. Legal Blindness is defined as visual acuity of not greater than 20/200 in the better eye with best correction or a visual field of less than 20 degrees. Legal Blindness can mean tunnel vision, no central vision, cloudy or extremely blurred vision, seeing just shadows, or no vision at all.

As per the census 2001 results given by the Directorate of Census there are 15,538 disabled persons consisting of 9538 males and 6000 females in Chandigarh. While the city has 13,882 disabled persons, its villages have 1656 disabled persons. The data also reveals that 1.7% of the total population in Chandigarh is disabled as compare to 2.1% at all India level. Out of the total disabled population visually impaired are 8422 persons i.e. 54.2%. These are the official figures in 2001, the actual numbers may be much higher.

It is estimated that, there are about 9 million blind persons in India, of which about 2 million are children of school going age. In addition, there are an estimated 45 million persons with low vision. Also, there are about 1 million visually impaired people with additional disabilities. These large figures emphasize the quantum of work that is required for spreading the awareness, training, rehabilitation and other aspects of welfare of visually impaired.

Under the Prevention & Cure Program, we are conducting series of Eye Camps & Awareness Generation Programs for the parents of low vision Children. These camps have been conducted in different schools, slums and colonies of the adjoining areas. Our Association is propagating the concept of Integrated Education of the Blind in the normal Schools so as to make them a part of main stream society. Under this program, we have enrolled more than 48 Children (8 in each unit) with 6 Special Education Teachers to look after their Education. This program is funded by us and NAB, India jointly.

NAB currently offers many services and projects for the welfare of the Blind. Many people in rural areas are illiterate or unaware of the benefits they are eligible for. Sometimes they do not even understand the application procedure. Our organization assists the Blind through searching for eligible benefits and application. We help the visually challenged in getting the maximum possible benefit.

Small children can be enrolled in our Integrated Education program. Adults can avail different programs such as the computer education or the Innovative Project for Blind Women. Some of them may be eligible for pension. NAB offers a helping hand in getting disability certificate, medical certificate, pension benefits and scholarships while also offering various services to the blind to improve the general conditions of the community as a whole.