A day in a life – Vangani

In a small town near Mumbai named as Vangani, lives nearly 350 families with minimum one blind relative. A place where open doors are the norm and neighbours regularly check in on each other. Each blind person carries an identification card with their personal details and the village council’s phone number in case of an emergency. Each and every blind person tries to earn their living through different means, some work as a worker in BMC (Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation), many of them work as hawkers and travel from one station to another to sell goods like plastic accessories and wallets. At Vangani station, without a pedestrian footbridge, it’s difficult to cross the platform, many blind people have lost their limbs in such accidents. According to locals, Central Railways agreed to build a footbridge in March 2013 after a blind individual gathered over 6,000 signatures. So far, a contractor has come to dig holes, but the construction workers haven’t shown up yet, Vangani residents say. They are all dependent on sound, smell and touch for their safety as well as a living. But still, they find ways to be happy and share a positive vibe with the people around.

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