People with disabilities, especially the Visually Impaired are the world’s fastest growing minority group. Poor accessibility in the past has created a huge divide for them in the society, they were excluded from the mainstream activities. When we think of Visually Impaired, we instantly picture people with dark glasses and white canes, usually being led on by someone sighted.
Today, with the breakthroughs in technology, there are a lot of incredible initiatives and services to improve their lives. RCG, an endowment of Rotary Club of Cochin Global (RCCG) and Rotary International (RI), is an NGO providing such invaluable services to the cause of the Visually Impaired.
It was, indeed, a day of joy for the Visually Impaired when RCG was founded in the year 2008 by the initiative of Rtn.George Mathew, a Rotarian. He was moved and inspired by a Meet organized in that year in Cochin for the Visually Impaired and determined to make a venture for their upliftment. “It was a Sunday when Rtn. Sethu, another Rotarian pursued me to participate in the Meet which paved the way for lying the foundation of RCG”, Mr. Mathew recollects.
Mr. Mathew put up his venture proposal to RCCG which after discussing the ways and means to support the cause, envisaged a technical training programme to help the Visually Impaired.
RCCG then presented its proposal to SRVC (Society for Rehabilitation of Visually Challenged) who after discussions agreed to collaborate with RCG for creation of a 10-seat computer training class. Subsequently, RCCG discussed the matter with the then CEO, Mr.SiddharthaBhattachary of Info Park, Cochin who offered a suitable place for the proposed training.
Enable India based in Bangalore came forward to support the cause by offering study material and necessary directions and guidance for conducting and teaching the Visually Impaired.
With the support and help of the above organizations, RCCG founded RCG with its Centre at Vismaya Building, Info Park, Cochin. The first batch was conducted for 7 students for a six month-course. Under RCG the training programme continued for many years.
In the year 2015, SRVC separated from RCG and started their own institution for the cause. In the same year, RCG became a partner organization of Enable India and its name was changed to RCGF (Rotary Cochin Global Foundation). In the year 2017, RCGF expanded its training programme for 15 students per a 6-month course.
Today RCGF is well-funded by the endowment of Rotary Club of Cochin Global. It operates a full-fledged Computer Training Centre at Info Park Cochin and impart training on Computers, Mobility, Communicative English and Personality Development of the Visually Challenged free of cost and all course materials, boarding, transportation and food for the deserved are provided free of cost.
RCGF is very happy to see that their empowering initiatives have changed the lives of many visually impaired individuals. 90% of its alumni are employed in various sectors including private and government organizations. Today, they can stand on their own feet, they are able to commute to their work place independently and support their family, and more importantly are role models for other Visually Challenged people.
Technology, and the expanding digital world, has made it possible for persons with visual impairment to cross the boundaries of confinement and enter the mainstream. It opened up huge arena of employment opportunities for them. The mission of RCGF is to create a world of no limits for people who are visually impaired / challenged.
RCGF wishes to create awareness among Corporate and other business establishments and several service sectors that they can widen the scope of their services to reach an additional section of the population—the visually impaired citizens