BMC Election: Kamathipura candidate's 20/20 vision: Eradicate illiteracy, remove encroachments and empower youth
Vinod Argile, who suffers from congenital blindness, is MNS’ face from ward 213, Kamathipura. Pic/Suresh Karkera
Vinod Argile’s vision for Kamathipura’s development belies his shortcomings. The 43-year-old MNS candidate for the BMC election from ward 213 of Kamathipura suffers from permanent congenital blindness, but his resolve to not let it come in the way of changing people’s lives is inspirational.
“My people are my vision, I will see through them,” says Argile, whose poll plank is education for children of sex workers, crackdown on encroachments and empowerment of the youth.
Passion to serve people
He says his ability to “understand people’s situations, and their difficulties and shortcomings, is his USP. “Being emotionally strong has turned my weakness to strength.”
On his education-for-all plan, he says, “There are many children here who are neglected and looked down upon by society. I want to empower them.”
Despite his disability, Argile is no political greenhorn. He has been with the MNS as shakha adhyaksh, a shakha pramukh and a vibhag pramukh.
Asked how he would handle all the paperwork that a corporator has to deal with, he says, “I have people who have been with me through thick and thin. They will read applications out for me. There is a reason why [MNS chief] Raj Thackeray chose me. He believes in me and my vision.”
Vinod’s brother, Rajesh, says his dedication to serve people has caught people’s attention. “He will be a fierce leader, with a heart.”
Although Argile runs a mobile phone to run his family, he always wanted, even as a child, “to work and live only for others”.
Voice of the disabled
He plans on opening a free study centre with books funded by him in Kamathipura and becoming the voice of the disabled. The news of his candidature has won much praise. An official from the National Association for the Blind believes that while Argile’s struggle would be unique if he is voted to power, he would be more sensitive towards the need of the people. “He should, however, treat everyone with equal sensitivity”.
JS Sahariya, state election commissioner, lauds the move to field a blind man.
“This is a bold and courageous step. I hope others get inspired from him and work for the welfare of people. I wish him luck.”