Nigeria Society for the Blind celebrates 60th anniversary
Recently, people from diverse background and professionals from different walks of life converged at Muson Centre, Onikan for Nigeria Society For The Blind 60th anniversary with a programme tagged ‘Living with blindness.’
In May 1955, sixty years ago, found fathers, some of whom were Chief S.L Edu, Alhaji I.S Adewale and Dr. G.A Ademola, all of blessed memory, established the Federal Nigeria Society For The Blind on the old and disused Post and Telecommunication (P & T) Training School in Oshodi, Lagos with the kind permission and assistance of Late Sir James Robertson, the then Governor General of the Federation. The main aim of the society was the rehabilitation and training of visually handicapped adolescents and adults in Nigeria.
The society established the Vocational Training Centre (VTC) for the blind at Oshodi in Lagos in 1956 special specifically for a category of people who through unfortunate circumstances, go blind later in life and therefore needs rehabilitation. Since then, the centre has trained over 2000 blind men and women. Opening remark was done by the Chaiman of the day, Pascal Dozie. Others Mrs Biola Agbaje, Prof. Adeola Onakoya, Lanre Adebayo, Dr. Efun Etomi, Folasade Adefisayo and others. Kelly Blind, a Nigerian comedian was there to liven the atmosphere.
A key note speaker at event, Adeola Onakoya, an Associate professor of Ophthalmology, College Of Medicine at Lagos University Teaching Hospital, said: “It is quite a laudable project and I think they have worked tirelessly in last 60 years to train people by helping them to rediscover themselves and augumenting their strengths.
They have reformed this people by giving them hope and a new lease of life as well as overcoming the stigma associated with blindness.” Speaking further, Onakoya said that the attitude of the public need to be changed towards the blind. “These people are normal like us but the only problem is that they are not seeing as we are seeing but they have vision and potentials. They need to be accepted, loved and given full support. They also need some adaptation of their lifestyles and technologies to assist them to live their life to the fullest. These can be done through the support of the public and government.”
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