Mitra Jyothi

Thanks to ACCESS, children are working at BPOs instead of construction sites

At Mitra Jyothi’s computer education centre, I was first asked to look at a young man named Mukesh’s computer screen. As I watched keenly, he typed out the words “Welcome to Mitra Jyothi.” I smiled at the gesture as his instructor gave him a pat on his shoulder accompanied by a “Good job!” Quite a compliment for a seemly easy task, right? Well, not really. As Mukesh, like several others like him in that computer education center, is visually impaired. For him to operate a computer and type out sentences independently is indeed an achievement.

While the initial purpose was to make the quarry workers of Marenahalli Bande in north-east Bangalore, aware of the importance of sending their children to school, the organisation has a multifold mission today – to provide quality education, create a healthy family and community environment, encourage people to develop their own potential, and develop talent in children.

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How it all began

Mitra Jyothi has been set up by Madhu Singhal. Herself visually-impaired, Madhu faced a lot of hurdles as a young girl. This became the primary motivation behind setting up Mitra Jyoti. Infact, most of the services offered by the organisation find their roots in her personal struggles.

Born blind, Madhu was brought up in Rohtak, Haryana. With no cure for her blindness back in the day, doctors advised her parents to invest in her education instead. Says Madhu, “40-45 years ago, no one knew how to educate a blind person. Parents who had visually-impaired or challenged children were clueless on the future of their children. Luckily I had good parents.”

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Volunteering Opportunities

1. Reading and recording books in various languages for their Talking Book Library for the visually impaired. Editing books after that and helping other volunteers record and edit books. This can be done on a daily/weekly basis. Depending on your time commitment, a book of appropriate length will be given to you.

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