BOSTON–Vision-Aid announced that it will create a new National Resource Center for the visually impaired in Delhi, starting in January 2020.
The new Vision-Aid center will work in partnership with Shroff Charity Eye Hospitals in Delhi, one of India’s leading eye care providers, and other organizations in Delhi as well as leaders in the field like Perkins of Boston.
The new Center, which will offer a comprehensive range of services and devices for the visually impaired in the region, will also aim to enable, educate and empower the visually impaired in the area.
Ram and Meetu Gupta of Carlisle, MA have come forward to support this new project of Vision-Aid, and have dedicated this new resource center to the memory of Ram Gupta’s late father Shri Lachhman Das Gupta, who passed away on October 10, 2019.
The Gupta family’s passion and commitment to the cause is strong. Ram Gupta’s late father was diagnosed with retinitis pigmentosa, when he started losing his eyesight at the age of 30, and was nearly blind by the age of 50.
He was 90 years old when he passed away and blind most of his life yet he had a strong sense of social responsibility, empathy for others, and a deep sense of understanding for people around him. Many relied on his experience in mediating and solving challenging business problems and family matters. He was hardworking and continued managing a High School, a Temple, a charitable Dispensary in Delhi, and Dharamshalas in UP and Uttrakhand, plus a Charitable Trust, all bearing his own father Phool Chand Vaish’s name throughout his life.
These institutions are largely supported by rental income from the properties owned by the Phool Chand Vaish Agrawal Trust; and the remaining additional needs by Ram’s three younger brothers in Delhi.
Ram inherited a sense of social responsibility from his father and grandfather. Ram and Meetu Gupta have 3 children – Shelley Chhabra, Nitin Gupta, and Sachin Gupta.. Ram and Meetu plan to setup a Trust/Foundation that will continue to help causes for many years in the future with the help of their children.
The new Vision-Aid National Resource Center will offer a range of programs, all of which are especially designed for children and adults who have terminal vision impairment which cannot be corrected with conventional refraction or surgery.
Visual impairment can range from low vision conditions to complete blindness. Vision-Aid’s model offers a comprehensive range of programs ranging from early intervention services for infants and children to skills training programs for visually impaired adults including training in Computers, Spoken English, Mobile Technologies and over a dozen other programs, each customized to the specific needs and circumstances of the individual. The resource center in Delhi will be operate across two physical locations – internal to Shroff, where short-term interventions will be offered, and an advanced center outside Shroff which will offer advanced, long-term rehabilitation and training – a unique and new feature of this project.
Mr. Puran Dang, Chairman of Vision-Aid, welcomed the generous support of the Gupta family.
“Ram Gupta and Meetu Gupta have been our family friends for a very long time. I introduced them to the noble cause of Vision-Aid. It is so gratifying that they have made a commitment to set up a Vision-Aid Resource Center in Delhi in the memory of Ram’s late father,” said Mr. Dang. “This Resource Center will help the Visually Impaired on so many fronts: Early Intervention, Providing Reading Gadgets, Computer Training and preparing them to get jobs. Ram’s family has a long history of giving which includes Dharamshala’s in the Haridwar Rishikesh areas. I deeply appreciate their spirit of giving. Ram and Meetu Gupta are a shining example of utmost generosity to help the deprived. Our whole Vision-Aid Team is very grateful to them.”
Syed Ali Rizvi, President of Vision-Aid, also expressed deep appreciation to Guptas for their support to Vision-Aid’s efforts in Delhi, and said that important work of Vision-Aid is totally dependent upon the support of its donors and well-wishers and the work of its volunteers.
“The need for the services that Vision-Aid offers to the visually impaired, is extremely high in India for the simple reason that India is home to the world’s largest visually impaired population,” Mr. Rizvi said. “The visually impaired are spread all across India. A very large percentage of them do not have access to services that can help them. To add to their plight, majority of the visually impaired are also with extremely limited means. At Vision-Aid Resource Centers, we provide a range of assistive-devices, trainings and services that help reduce their dependence on others.”
To provide crucial services, donors like Ram Gupta and Meetu Gupta are Vision-Aid’s lifeline, added Mr. Rizvi.
Dr. Deeba Husain, Associate Professor of Ophthalmology at the Harvard Medical School, who serves on the advisory Board of Vision-Aid, said, “Providing means to the visually handicapped to enable them to live a life of independence is an enormous task. We can only do it with the help of many partnerships, most importantly the generous support of donors like Meetu and Ram Gupta. This gift will enable us to set up the first such center for all people irrespective of their economic status, in the capital city Delhi.”
Vision-Aid Founder Ramakrishna (Ram) Raju and Revathy Ramakrishna welcomed the news stating: “We are truly honored and delighted to establish a new National Resource Center in Delhi in memory of Shri Lachhman Das Gupta. This will be our first center in the nation’s capital, and we are excited about the enormous potential for impact in the whole region, and will serve as a model for many other similar centers in coming years.”
Vision-Aid (www.VisionAid.org) is a non-profit organization established in 2004 with a mission to enable, educate and empower the visually impaired, and vision to establish a network of resource centers that offer high quality devices and services to the visually impaired.