"Lit the Light" Is Empowering Students With Vision Impairments
Based in Tamil Nadu, and looking to expand, "Lit the Light" empowers students with vision impairments.
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In 2012 Barath S.N. from Chennai was inspired to support students with vision impairments. It all began with one student at Poonamallee Government School for the Blind.
 
Barath volunteered at the Government School by visiting every weekend for a year to conduct reading sessions to help a student with a vision impairment. The student that he helped not only passed their Class 12 exams, but they did so with 960 marks. Seeing firsthand what a huge impact such supports could offer a student, Barath was inspired to help as many others as possible.
 
In Tamil Nadu, and beyond, Government Schools often only provide study materials in Braille up to Class 8. If a student wishes to study beyond that point, they only have access to materials that are in print.
 
Enter Lit the Light. Alongside his colleagues, Ram Kumar and Ravikant Bellad, Barath founded the registered non-profit organization in 2014 to assist students with visual impairments. The organization began providing reading sessions for students who couldn't access their lessons through notes. Over time Lit the Light began increasing the reach and range of their services to include the following:
  • Recording study materials that can then be accessed via audio clips.
  • Arranging for scribes to support students so that they can complete exams.
  • Working with students to uncover their hidden talents, and showcasing these talents through different events.
  • Providing training with technology and support to secure jobs.
  • Creating a digital audio library through which they are compiling materials spanning academic, motivation, and competitive exam materials.
  • Working on intiatives to raise awareness about the challenges students with vision impairments face, and the ways in which they can be supported.

By 2018, Lit the Light was helping to arrange over 5000 scribes every year for students across Tamil Nadu. Without the organization, these students were left to find their own supports, on top of other daily challenges that they face.

Additional milestones they've achieved include:

  • Discovering the musical talents of Jyothi, who sang the melodious ‘Kannamma’ for music director GV Prakash Kumar in his film Adangathey.
  • Organizing a Chennai district level cricket tournament for those with visual impairments in 2014, and Tamil Nadu's state-wide Blindfold Cricket Tournament in 2017.
  • Helping to find financial support for aspiring athletes with vision impairments. Lit the light has supported K. Ramesh, a TN cricket player who represented India in 2015 at the Cricket World Cup, in the differently abled category. And they also raised funds for M Susheela, R Vijayasanthi, and J Manoharan who participated in the 2016 Common Wealth Judo Championship. These 3 competitors went on to win two gold medals and one bronze medal, respectively.

Today Lit the Light is an entirely volunteer based organization, with volunteers in India (Chennai, Coimbatore, Madurai, Vellore, Erode, Karur, Cuddalore and Salem), U.S.A., U.K., Bahrain and other Gulf countries. They are currently looking to expand their services to Canada and recruit volunteers from there as well. Those interested in volunteering can reach out to Barath directly at +91 9894949878 via Whatsapp. Lit the Light recruits volunteers on an ongoing basis, particularly to help record audio of materials that can support the students they serve.

 

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Nivethika Thambithurai
Senior Editor
Canada
I'm a Senior Editor at TamilCulture and Director Of Communications at Kimp.io I love st...
I'm a Senior Editor at TamilCulture and Director Of Communications at Kimp.io I love st...
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