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National Institute of Pakistan Studies
Name of ScholarHafiz Abdul Rasheed
Title of Dissertation Socio-Psychological and Economic Problems of Blind Persons: A Case Study of Rawalpindi District
Issue Date2013
PublisherNational Institute of Pakistan Studies, Quaid-i-Azam University, Islamabad, Pakistan
Abstract

Disabled persons of any civilized society are treated as special persons of the social system. In many developed countries, persons with disability or special persons are given a special status in different quarters of life so that they may find themselves not behind from normal persons and opportunities are generated enabling them take a practical part on making their lives independent.

This dissertation is based on highlighting the life of blind person in a developing country and an eastern society which has also religious dominance to some extent. This study discusses the social, psychological and economic factors prevalent in Rawalpindi District that surround the problems of blind persons in these dimensions.

The fieldwork for this study was conducted in Rawalpindi District. Necessary information regarding blind persons residing in Rawalpindi was obtained from NADRA (national database and Registration Authority) which has record of 2067 adult blind persons and 1619 blind children in its database. The research work for this study was carried out from 2004 to 2007. The researcher being a blind person had to assign assistants in his research team which played active role during field work. Quantitative data, its interpretation and qualitative analysis has been carried out. The results of the analysis have confirmed hypothesis.

Blind people are humankind at first, then disabled person and visually impaired at third number. Psychological problems emerge due to collective behaviour pattern of society that does not emerge in a day, month or year but history of thousands of years is behind it. It has been tried to give social, cultural and economic history of this area to facilitate the reader understand the circumstances under which the blind person of this are are living.

Though not known exactly but it is said that history of blindness started with the beginning of humankind. This phenomenon has been explored in the chapter “History of Blind and Blindness”. The chapter “History and Culture of Locale” covers the ancient history of Potohar region with special reference of subcontinent along with social change since 1893. Cultural evolution in this area has been mentioned along with life patterns of different social classes. Social, psychological and economic problems of blind persons have been highlighted in three different chapters which show that how a blind person has to go through difficulties to make his life in local social system. Role of NGOs for welfare of blind persons is very important and this study would have been incomplete without noting their efforts in this area to support the blind community.

According to Dr. Margaret Steinner, the behavioural pattern of society affects the social, psychological and economic condition of blind persons is such an appreciable that a new term has been drawn after in-depth study which “sighted blind”.  It is less important that what type of behavioural patterns is being practised by the society but it is more important that at what grade blind persons place themselves. “Don’t think that vision of your eyes is enough to live with dignity and honour but it is your courage which determines your status in the society. On the other hand, society can give you a cooperative hand only”, Says Dr. Steinner. This study explores the phenomenon in detail.