Behind The BlindnessSunday, October 09, 2011
This is a short journal about me covering a story of two blind students that have proven that blindness does not always mean darkness.
Thanks to Hadiputranto, Hadinoto & Partners, and Yayasan Mitra Netra (YMN) who had involved me in this charity project. Both subjects in this story had been for years assisted by YMN, particularly in the field of education. To know further about this foundation, please chek out the website at http://www.mitranetra.or.id/
Born with normal eyes, Dimas was infected with toxoplasm virus at the age of 11 while he was sitting in the sixth grade. The infection had gradually affected his sight and finally blinded his eyes. Instead of sending Dimas to an exclusive school (special school for people with different ability), his parents had decided to send him to public school.
Thanks to YMN, – I just found out that YMN helped transform reading materials into sounds which was audible for the blinds. That way, they could still ‘read’ books with their ears –Dimas was able to go through the entire stages of school with flying colors that led him to Universitas Indonesia (UI), where he majored in English literature.
Being passionate in reading and writing, his articles and essays had several times been published in local medias. Not to mention his skill in public speaking.
As for his dream, he wished to take post graduate in England.
Same with Dimas, Arief was born with normal sight. It was cataract that sent him to hospital for an operation. The doctor who performed it made a huge mistake that caused a total blindness.
Majoring in social and political science at UI, he chased his dream of becoming a social worker. I was fascinated by the fact that he constantly earned scholarships for his tuition fee.
Going back and forth from home to campuss by public transportation, Arief learnt that people were nice when we got stories to tell. Everyone he met on the bus were always curious to know about how he lost his sight.
Thanks to Dimas and Arief, I learnt how wonderful it was to be blessed with normal sight. Our eyes are gift, and are not supposed to be taken for granted.