World Sight Day is annually celebrated on the second Thursday of October to raise awareness about vision impairment and blindness. In 2020 World Sight Day was celebrated on 8th October globally and a short film Breaking Barriers was released which saw veteran actor Kabir Bedi spending a day with six visually impaired children from Rajasthan and Jharkhand and gave them a tour of Mumbai.
The tour was organised by Sightsavers India, global development organisation that has been working in India since 1966 to eliminate avoidable blindness and to ensure that people who are irreversibly blind are supported adequately to lead lives of independence and dignity. The film was shot in September 2019, and shows the children experiencing the city through the voice of the actor, who told them about the facts behind the famous sites in Mumbai.
They visited the Juhu Beach, went on a boat tour from Gateway of India and also found out about the various technologies used for the visually impaired by the reputed St. Xavier's College in Mumbai. The children talked about their experiences and the actor shared why this was important for the kids.
Take a look at the film below:
"These children are wonderful because there is an openness about them, an intelligence about them, and a desire to know and learn," Bedi said in the film. "The whole theme of our campaign is inclusion, which is the children who are sight challenged do not have to be treated as if they are outside of the mainstream. They are very much part of the mainstream and educated in normal schools, with a few facilites provided to them. They are and should be the part of the mainstream. The inclusion is very important," he added.
The children are educated under the Sightsavers Education Program which runs in five states of India namely The programme is being run in five states namely, Bihar, Jharkhand, Madhya Pradesh, Odisha.