[AI] A Woman With a Vision

Balaraman chess.balaram at asianetindia.com
Tue Sep 4 00:29:31 EDT 2007

Indeed, she is a woman with vision and very dynamic.
I have been working for Braille without borders for the last two months as 
their technical assistant and will join them as their computer faculty when 
the center starts working from January 2008.
The more I talk to her, the more I enjoy her positive attitude and great 
enthusiasm besides other qualities. She fairly reminds me of our beloved 
Shanti Raghavan, the founder of enableindia.
----- Original Message ----- 
From: "rambabu adikesavalu" <rambabu_arb at yahoo.com>
To: <accessindia at accessindia.org.in>
Sent: Monday, September 03, 2007 4:14 AM
Subject: [AI] A Woman With a Vision

The Hindu
Tamil Nadu

      A woman with a vision
      - Photo:K. Ananthan

      "I am blind. But, I have a vision. I overcame
blindness," is how Sabriye
      Tenberken describes herself. With a small
computer-like assistive
      technology in hand, she says "Blind people are
excellent problem solvers.
      Every day from morning till night, they are
solving problems." She talks
      to Anasuya Menon on her visit to Coimbatore.
      Sabriye Tenberken is the founder of "Braille
Without Borders," an
      organisation working for the empowerment of
people with visual impairment.
      Brimming with enthusiasm, she readies to speak
about her upcoming project
      at Thiruvananthapuram in Kerala. "It is going to
be an institute where the
      blind can develop their potential and utilise
their abilities for the
      betterment of society. We need people who have a
vision and the courage
      and passion to bring about a change in society,"
she adds. "A set of
      highly motivated and educated people who can
think out of the box and
      believe that everything is possible." She has
already received about 15
      applications from people with visual impairment
all over the world. The
      institution aims at encouraging them to become
social entrepreneurs. "Why
      can't the blind get into social work?" she asks.
"Why should they be
      institutionalised? They too can contribute to
society." Sabriye Tenberken,
      born and brought up in Germany, began losing her
eyesight very early and
      turned blind by the age of 12. Despite the
discouraging attitude of
      society, she continued her studies and was
insistent on giving something
      back to society rather than always being a
beneficiary. Her unrelenting
      quest to travel to other parts of the world and
do developmental work led
      her to Tibet. She approached a couple of
organisations in Germany for
      getting into development work, but none of them
encouraged her owing to
      her disability.
      In Tibet, she developed the Tibetan Braille
script, which later on became
      the official script for the blind in Tibet and
she also started a Centre
      for the Blind in the Tibetan capital, Lhasa. She
worked with hundreds of
      blind children and has since been concentrating
on removing the stigma
      related to blindness. Ms.Sabriye has also
authored two books, "My Path
      Leads to Tibet" and "The Seventh Year - From
Tibet to India." She now
      plans to extend her work to India. "India is a
great place to develop
      things and there is a lot of innovative stuff
going on here," she says.
      Unlike in Europe where no development is
possible, there are a lot of
      things that can be experimented in India, she
adds. Though technology has
      brought in help to people with visual
impairment, it should not substitute
      "They should develop confidence in themselves
and not be dependent on
      sighted people," she says.

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