See­ing life through new eyes

Daily News - - NEWS - VEANTHA NAIDOO

WORLD Sight Day is com­mem­o­rated an­nu­ally to draw at­ten­tion to blind­ness and vi­sion im­pair­ment.

Nel­son Mood­ley, 58, of Veru­lam re­alised he was los­ing his vi­sion when he was 10. He was di­ag­nosed with re­tini­tis pig­men­tosa, which causes loss of vi­sion.

“I knew I could not let this dis­abil­ity stop me from liv­ing my best life so I worked hard to use my mem­ory and other senses to make up for my sight,” he said.

The self-taught mu­si­cian par­tic­i­pates in pro­grammes to teach other vis­ually im­paired peo­ple ba­sic skills.

“My aim is to mo­ti­vate other vis­ually chal­lenged peo­ple and to show them that they can still find em­ploy­ment by learn­ing a skill and by ed­u­cat­ing them­selves.”

Naidoo has also rep­re­sented KwaZu­luNatal in cricket.

Ac­cord­ing to the World Health Or­gan­i­sa­tion, 285 mil­lion peo­ple are es­ti­mated to be vis­ually im­paired world­wide, 39 mil­lion are blind and 246 mil­lion have low vi­sion.

About 90% of the world’s vis­ually im­paired live in low­in­come set­tings and 82% of peo­ple liv­ing with blind­ness are aged 50 and above.

KZN Blind and Deaf So­ci­ety spokesper­son Jenny Chetty said: “I be­lieve a lot more can be done to aid and de­velop the skills of the phys­i­cally chal­lenged in terms of job op­por­tu­ni­ties. We also need to have more cam­paigns or di­a­logues on this is­sue as we find that a lot of em­ploy­ers abuse or take ad­van­tage of im­paired staff by un­der­pay­ing them.”

She felt the govern­ment should get ac­tively in­volved to en­sure fund­ing is given to blind and deaf as­so­ci­a­tions so they can im­prove their fa­cil­i­ties and the pro­grammes they pro­vide.

NEL­SON MOOD­LEY

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