Secretary, Department of Empowerment of Persons with Disabilities, Shri Lov Verma, formally launched the ‘Eyeway National Helpdesk’ for the blind and visually impaired at the Department Headquarters in Paryavaran Bhawan. Eyeway National Helpdesk is an initiative of Score Foundation with support from the Department and other organizations like Essel Foundation, Tech Mahindra Foundation and the Hans Foundation. Now visually impaired citizens of India will be able to call the Eyeway Helpdesk on a toll free number, 1800-300-20469, and get queries addressed. Here in, trained counsellors will share information, guide and connect the caller with relevant professional solutions.
Speaking on the occasion, Secretary DEPwD Shri Lov Verma said that “Blind and visually impaired people are potentially part of the Human Resource of the country.” The Secretary informed the gathering that a toll-free “Help Desk/Help Centre” is being developed by the Department in association with NICSI through Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) for dissemination of Information relating to Persons with Disabilities (PwDs), tracking and handling grievances, facilitating the aspirations and needs for PwDs such as skilling/employment, etc. The Secretary expressed hope that in future this Helpdesk will also cater to the noble cause of ‘Eye Donation’ for the needy.
Eyeway is a single stop knowledge resource centre on life with blindness. It has been empowering virtually impaired people in the country by sharing information and advocating for change where required. In this National Helpdesk Toll free number, anyone across India can call in for information and get their queries addressed in their regional languages – be it regarding living life with blindness, counselling, advocacy, personal or legal matters, government schemes and programs, employment or education, about making an accessible environment etc.
Expressing his happiness over the inauguration of this Helpdesk Service, Joint Secretary, DEPwD, Shri Awanish Kumar Awasthi said that the Department remains committed towards involving stakeholders – both public and private – to spread awareness and provide relief and support to PwDs. Saying that this unique initiative will be a precursor to many such Helplines, Mr Awasthi offered the Department’s support to such efforts.
Mr Mukesh Jain, Joint Secretary, DEPwD, added that it is often due to lack of access to information that people with visual impairment are often marginalised and they are unable to lead fulfilling, independent, economic and socially productive lives. He emphasised that ‘Universal Accessibility’ is the need of the hour and informed the audience that it is with this motive that the Department has launched its nationwide flagship campaign – ‘Accessible India Campaign’ which targets ‘Accessibility’ in built-environment, Public Transport and Information Communication Technology.
The Eyeway Helpdesk Toll-free number has been based on cloud technology, and this helps leverage faster deployment and change intervention, handling high call volumes, real-time monitoring & reporting, integration of CRM database and easy scalability. Calls will be routed to the nearest Helpdesk agent as per the origin of the call mapped basis the geography/predominant language defined. In the next three years more organisations from other parts of India will be invited to join in the network to strengthen the capability of the helpdesk to connect with people, and provide solutions relevant to their respective region and culture.