NAB Department of Client Service
Malnutrition, limited or no access to education, healthcare, sanitation etc., is highly prevalent among lower socio-economic classes. Such inferior living conditions lead to poor health, which in turn can trigger blindness. Underprivileged blind persons have very little help at hand to take care of their needs. To deal with this problem, NAB (India) set up in June 1992 the Service Delivery Committee which established the Client Service Department (CSD) in 1994. Ever since, the Department has been providing direct and timely assistance and guidance to innumerable blind persons, to solve their day-to-day issues.
Identification and Referral Service: Newly blind persons and those blind individuals who have never had exposure to welfare activities are identified and referred to appropriate Department/s of NAB (India) and other institutions. Counseling, guidance and referral service is offered to the clients for availing financial, educational, medical and other facilities offered by State/Central Government agencies and other voluntary organizations.
Financial Assistance: The Department gives financial assistance to meet expenses on medical care, education of blind children/children of needy blind parents, starting a small business and for any other unforeseeable circumstances.
Promoting Self-Employment: CSD encourages blind persons to take up self-employment by providing them equipment like weighing scales, sewing machines, popcorn makers, domestic grain mill etc., which they operate with family support and make a decent livelihood for themselves. These equipment are provided at cost/free of charge through donor support. Assistance in kind is also offered by providing sponsored/donated cutlery items, toys etc., which the client sells at railway stations and other places of public movement.
Rehabilitation of destitute blind persons: The Department takes charge of destitute visually challenged/multi-disabled visually impaired individuals and then rehabilitates them or finds them permanent shelter, through various welfare agencies.
Aids and Equipment: Special aids and appliances like white canes, Braille wrist watches, light probe and articles like measuring spoons etc., are stocked and sold at cost to blind individuals. Also, needy blind students are provided MP3 recorders and memory cards. Subject to donor support, these items are at times given gratis to deserving clients. Through service clubs, multi-handicapped blind children are offered equipment like exercise cycles, gym balls, CP (Cerebral Palsy) chairs, working tables etc.
Advocacy Initiatives: The Department has been instrumental in acquiring a variety of concessions/facilities for the blind through advocacy with concerned agencies. To mention a few – the facility of special compartment for disabled persons in Mumbai’s local railway, 50% exemption in telephone rental for blind persons in the MTNL and BSNL landline connections, concessions in the rail tariff for AC and non-AC classes etc. Besides, grievances of blind clients are taken up with appropriate authorities and resolved amicably. It is only because of the intervention of the NAB Client Service Department, the Hon’ble High Court of Mumbai reaffirmed job reservation – provided under the PwD Act 1995 – for the disabled.
Other Services: These include – teaching Braille, mobility and personal care; provision of blindness certificates and other documents essential for availing travel concessions and tax exemptions; arranging camps for Low Vision (LV) Assessment and free-distribution of LV Aids, awareness-raising through media etc.
What You Can Do
You can: contribute money to help us assist a blind person to become self-employed; sponsor special aids and appliances for the blind; volunteer to read out to and write for blind people or take them shopping; share with us your professional expertise to help us make a difference to the lives of people with sight loss.