A COMPELLING STORY
Once upon a time a man contracted dengue.
As a result, the man goes blind.
He loses the job he loves.
His wife walks out with all of his savings, taking his only child away.
His friends disappear one-by-one.
He suffers depression.
He discovers tandem bicycle.
He finds a partner to ride with him.
He rediscovers the meaning of happiness.
Now, he helps other blind people to come-out of their “box”, and advises them that life is for living.
This man is Eddy Chong, and he is the captain of our small group of blind tandem riders. Together, we hope to raise public awareness of the ability of the blind to contribute positively to our society – Being disabled does not mean unable. Of course, the daily challenges faced by the blind are many and complex, and increasing the public’s understanding of the needs of PWD (People With Disability) is a crucial first step to ensure that blind people are given the same rights as those accorded to our abled citizens. As Siti Huraizah, the Public Relations Officer at the Malaysian Association for the Blind, who is totally blind, outlined, “In the process of empowering the disabled, the inclusive approach should be adopted. Rather than having special programmes to meet the needs of the disabled, the planners should see how the needs of the disabled can be catered for in all the existing programmes or in new programmes to be formulated rather than isolating the disabled in certain programmes.”
Fortunately, The Star newspaper wanted to interview Eddy, and it was a golden opportunity to highlight our groups aspirations of helping the Blind through our cycling activities. In a small way, we had an important responsibity to give a voice to the struggles of the Blind.
Moreover, we are extremely grateful that our true story was covered by The Star’s top writer, Revathi, together with their award-winning professional sports photographer, Ganesan. The interview on 20th May 2015 was attended by Eddy, Jeffrey and I, and the backdrop was the beautiful Taman Subang Ria. We spent a good two full hours to complete the interview and take some killer shots for article.
The Star article will be published on this or the following weekend. All six members of our group, our friends and supporters are so looking forward to read the final product of Eddy’s interview. I know that everyone involved in this project has given their all to help us along our chosen journey of hope and goodwill. In turn, we are motivated to do and be the best we can.