For Vangani's visually impaired people, lockdown spells doom
DECCAN CHRONICLE | RAJESH JADHAV
Published : Jun 20, 2020, 12:37 pm IST
Updated : Aug 22, 2020, 6:20 pm IST
For some 250 visually impaired people living in the Mumbai locality of Vangani, the coronavirus pandemic has added darkness an already gloomy life. (DC Picture: Rajesh Jadhav)
Vangani is a village on the Central Railway line in Mumbai. It is a colony of visually impaired people who live together as a community.
Majority of them depend on the railways to make a living, selling goods or by singing songs in the local trains. Several of them work on the CSMT-Karjat or Churchgate-Virar routes everyfor this purpose.
However, with the local train services being closed for nearly three months due to the lockdown, these visually impaired people are facing a tough battle to survive.
Munjaba Shingare, the head of this community, said, "The lockdown has exhausted whatever savings we had. We have no money for rent. Some landlords have started asking us to vacate the rooms. Things have become very difficult." According to him, some NGOs and local Shiv Sena leaders have helped them by providing foodgrains and essential goods. But how long it will go on?.
Murugan Mudaliyar and his wife are both blind. Their 14-year-old daughter is partially blind. "I travel from Vangani to Virar to sell items like purses, pens, key-chains etc and earn nearly Rs 400-500. But after the local trains were suspended, I am left with no other alternative to earn. I am worried about the future of my daughter," said Murugan.
Local Shiv Sena leader Kishor Shelar said that they are providing food and other essential goods to these families since the lockdown has started. "We also held a medical camp for them and distributed safety kits. To ensure that they will not have to face harship, we will try to provide them employment in small scale industries," he said.