Friday, March 6, 2009

Charity walk to create awareness of the blind

DO you know what it feels like to be in total darkness? And worse still in a world where people are too busy to give you some help?
The annual charity walk entiled Blind leading the Blind, organised by the Lions Club of Petaling Jaya, will be a chance for you to experience the challenges faced by people with impaired vision, more so to understand how much your help is needed to bring a ray of hope to the needy.
Into its seventh year, the walk will take place on April 19, at the PJ Civic Hall car park.
The Petaling Jaya City Council has recognised the walk as an official annual event, providing food, shelter and facilities on the day.
The event was launched on Tuesday at the MBPJ headquarters by Selangor local government, research and studies committee chairman Ronnie Liu and Petaling Jaya mayor Datuk Mohamad Roslan Sakiman.
Liu said he respected the organisation for living up to its motto “We Serve” and that the state government shared the same philosophy.
He also related his experience participating in the walk.
“It was my first real encounter in the world of darkness walking blindfolded for 3km and for about an hour. This truly memorable experience has changed my perception on life.
“I am now ever grateful for being able and for my gift of sight,” he said.
He also commended MBPJ for taking pro-active action to adopt the walk and urged the residents to take part.
He handed over a donation of RM20,000 from the state, adding that he would like to see at least 200 MBPJ staff members taking part in the walk with their families.
Organising chairman Mak Siew Fong said the annual walk had raised more than RM500,000 to support the Lions Club’s First Sight programme.
He said the club targeted to raise RM150,000 from this year’s walk.
“In collaboration with the Tun Hussein Onn National Eye Hospital, most of the proceeds have been used directly to aid the blind in our community,” he said.
He added that almost 8,000 eye screen tests had been conducted and 800 cataract operations had been carried out.
“Most of these people are from the rural areas where eye care facilities are not always within easy reach or lack awareness that people with cataract blindness can have their sight restored,” he said.
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