Ahead of World Blind Day, group of visually challenged individuals collects donations for city-based orphanage from other similarly challenged people

A visually challenged woman from an NGO -- Advait Group -- has initiated a project to generate funds by approaching others like her and donate the collection to an orphanage on October 15, which is World Blind Day.
Rita Patil (28), a bank employee who is also a singer and anchor, wants to encourage disadvantaged people to lead a normal life.

For a good cause: Rita Patil who with the help of her NGO, the Advait
Group, has collected money to donate to Shrivatsa, an orphanage in
the Sassoon hospital.
Pic/Vivek Sabnis

Her heart is now set on helping orphans through her NGO and she has already begun collecting funds for Shrivatsa, an orphanage at Sassoon Hospital. "Visually challenged people do not want sympathy from people since they are quite self-sufficient. This time, we want to take a step forward and help others who are in need," Patil said.

Noble hearts
Volunteers collecting the donations are also visually challenged and come from all walks of life.  Her friends participating for the cause are Zamir Sheikh (21), a physiotherapist, Basavraj Santikar, a BEd student and part-time teacher, Satyabhama Mhetre (33), who works with a women's group, Nishant Mane (18), a college student who is also gainfully employed because of an earn-and-learn scheme at the University of Pune, Santosh Karche (21), a lift operator at a private hospital, Ramesh Bangar (21), an activist for Child Helpline, Reeta Divte (26), a masseuse, and Chandrakant Kharate (29), a businessman.

Spreading the word
Shaikh has sent SMSes to people like him and is spreading the word around. Santikar is confident that they will be able to collect more than Rs 10,000, which was the initial plan. Dr Amol Saptarshi from Advait Group welcomed Patil's idea and said, "We are moved by her idea and will extend all support possible. Her desire is to collect contributions from visually challenged persons like herself and that is a noble deed and I hope they are successful in their initiative." Shrivatsa's social work administrator Sangeeta Pawar has found Patil's gesture to be noble and has asked her to send in a formal request.

Get in touch
Donors wishing to make contributions before October 14 can contact: Rina Patil on 9881340202, Zamir Shaikh on 9767574445