When COVID-19 hit India, we jumped into action to help them prepare for the challenges,even before the lockdown started in India. It is a special concern for Visually Impaired as they mostly rely on touch.
The ones with Visibility disorder from needy families are a diverse group, experiencing different hardships in accessing information on prevention and risk of infection.
Firstly we shared COVID-19 precautions as per WHO guidelines with them through audio messages with translations in different regional languages like Hindi, Telugu, Marathi, Kannada. The guidelines was shared with the volunteers, who then communicated with the visually impaired in their respective languages either by phone or whatsapp.
We parallelly prepared a list of Visuallyimpaired who were in city, or left for their villages / hometown to stay with parents. We also checked with blind Institute or NGOs about the measures they had taken at the premises and hostel facility. If there was any shortage, we helped fulfill the requirement for hand gloves, masks, and sanitizers with the help of donations. About 600 hand gloves, several masks, sanitizers were distributed prior to lockdown.
We soon realized that that there were quite a lot of visually impaired elderly left alone at home. This prompted us to start assigning phone buddy to each of them to keep track of how they were doing. The buddy would keep the phone numbers of neighbor, maid and local ward ration shop (government outlet) and other helpline numbers to support the visually impaired.
We soon started receiving calls for help from the needy families esp. Mumbai slums for groceries and medicines. The daily wage workers were out of cash and no means to buy essentials. Many times the free food distribution and ration was available but they were unaware of this information. So the buddy volunteer became a very critical part to reach the information or the essential items. Over the last three weeks we have supported at least 200 families to get their ration and essentials.
The Phone Buddy also encourage and motivate the visually impaired to take care of their health and fitness and improve immunity by explaining how to do simple home workouts. This keeps them happy and healthy in these difficult times.
– Sep 2019 to Mar 2020
Shoe Collection Drive was conducted in Six Cities in India – Mumbai, Delhi, Hyderabad, Ahmedabad and Bengaluru. More than 500 athletes got new or gently used shoes for supporting their fitness and running training. The project was initiated by Bhumika and supported by a large pool of volunteers/ Guide runners from the corporate and running community. Many thanks to all the donors who supported wholeheartedly.
The drive included many activities :
- Handling calls from shoes donors
- Coordinating shoe pick up/drop off
- Phone/Email response to corporate enquiries for participation
- shoe size requirement gathering from visuallyimpaired
- Sorting the donations for shoes with good mileage
- Shoe laundry for gently used shoe donations
- Shoe fitment check at training locations
- Coordinating new cities in phase 2 of drive
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On Sunday Oct 20th 2019,we celebrated the 2nd edition of Pinkathon Day in Bengaluru.We are Happy to announce a new addition #PinkathonDay ‘See From The Heart’ to promote inclusion of specially abled people. This year 3 cities namely Bengaluru (Cubbon), Mumbai (BKC) and Pune (Ghorpadi) have taken the lead and participate in this worldwide celebration.
We had the SpeciallyAbled and VisuallyImpaired girls as apart of the celebrations.
We had sari draping, to show that a dress can never stop us from running.
The victors group is a group of survivors put up an exhibition of their paintings. It’s a must see. They do fabric painting, canvas painting, kalamkari painting etc. They also make artistic thread and beads jewellery.
Manoranjini did an awesome Zumba
The Cubbon and Lalbagh training girls Vandana, Vasanthi, Kanti, Savita, Anita and team presented contemporary dance coreographed by Rithvik.
Visually impaired athletes…joined us from far and near. We felicitated their achievements.
A fusion dance performance by the Bannerghatta girls Swati, Rajlaxmi, Manisha, Kiran, Pavana, Vijaya and Shilpa.
Group dance by the Basaveshwarnagar training girls. They are doing a mashup of 5 language songs to convey unity in diversity in India.
Dr Ashu and survivors of Myshah foundation joined us.
We had cake cutting to mark the momentous occasion.
Thanks to Kajol bhatia and team for enthusiatic pariticipation.
Special thanks to Running Lab for sponsoring the breakfast.
Thanks to all who came volunteered and encouraged the team of specially Abled and guide runner
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What can be called an ‘Accomplished Meet’? It’s at the Quarterly meet, when you have many satisfied faces, it’s when you announce the achievements of the year with great pride, it’s when the participants are awarded and appreciated for their achievements….
All Hands Meet 2019 was one such function with the Bhumika’s Training Team , cancer shero, care givers, visually impaired and sighted guide runners, held at the Eagle Ridge Resort in Begur, Bengaluru on 1st June 2019. It was the 4th year anniversary of trainings for girls. It was an amalgamation of a formal annual review meeting and an informal anniversary celebration where the leads of various locations had come together in person to share their updates of the year.
The meet started with a question and answer session by Dr. Eshwar who is a sports doctor from California, followed by the formal inauguration. As the objective of the meet was, the leads from various locations of Mumbai, Pune, Vizag, Delhi attended the function through a web conference and updated their location progress.
Head Coach of the Training girls, Bhumika Patel wonderfully hosted the event. The awards to the achievers of the years were given away by the eminent personalities from the marathon running sphere like Praveen Shetty, Asima Sultana. The veteran runner, cancer survivor and the active participant Uma Pai cheered up the atmosphere with her speech. Cult fitness was represented by one of their senior members who spoke about a fruitful partnership for supporting the visually impaired training initiative.
A team of cancer survivors from Myshah Foundation arrived and delivered touching but inspiring stories about their fight with cancer. The function was graced by Pragya Prasun, acid attack survivor and Nari Shakti Award winner. Pragya runs an NGO- Atijeevan Foundation that helps acid attack survivors become economically independent.
The function was a huge success, not to mention the partying and the games the training girls enjoyed after the formal function was done.