Out of sight, not out of vision

National 2 minutes, 28 seconds


THE WHITE Cane Charity Runs 2014 shows that even without vision, the Brunei Darussalam National Association of the Blind (BDNAB) and physically impaired communities are not at a disadvantage when it comes to realising the 30th National Day theme: “Generation with a Vision”.

Noralizulrainee Ali Yussop who lost his eyesight when he was 17-years old, said that the visually impaired too can be on the same level playing field with regular sighted people.

“Just because we’re disabled, it doesn’t mean we’ve lost our vision to succeed in life,” he said.

“This kind of event exposes ourselves, it shows the blind community’s ability, potential to be self-reliant and contribute to the community,” he added.

BDNAB’s first major sports event managed to reel in more than 2,600 runners including wheelchair users and a mother with her baby.

The charity run was organised by BDNAB along with the Community Development Department (JAPEM) and Syarikat Armtrix Entreprise.

Two thousand six hundred and eighteen runners including whelchair bound sports enthusiasts donned in bright yellow shirts lit up the streets ahead of the sunrise yesterday all in the name of the Blind.

Gathering under the first ever charity promotional event to raise awareness for the visually impaired, the White Cane Charity Run 2014 at the Hassanal Bolkiah National Stadium in Berakas attracted members of the public to come in droves to help support the cause.

Among those who chose to support the event was His Royal Highness Prince ‘Abdul Wakeel and Her Royal Highness Princess Ameerah Wardatul Bolkiah.

Winners for the physically impaired categories were: Kamarul Ariffin Hj Gaffar (Blind Open), Hj Md Ruzy Izman Hj Badar (Wheelchair Open) and Ak Putera Md Amir Pg Matusin (Hearing and Intellectual Disabilities Open).

HRH Prince ‘Abdul Wakeel and HRH Princess Ameerah Wardatul Bolkiah both participated in the 5km run. Flagging off the runners was the Minister of Culture, Youth and Sports Yang Berhormat Pehin Orang Kaya Pekerma Laila Diraja Dato Seri Setia Hj Hazair Hj Abdullah alongside Deputy Minister Datin Hjh Adina Othman.

According to JAPEM, the charity run was intended to pave open opportunities for the public and corporate sector to donate to the BDNAB fund that will be used to assist BDNAB’s future operational programmes.

However the aim of the run for BDNAB was not only to raise funds but create awareness within the public on the plights of the visually impaired. The BDNAB, founded in January 2001, hopes this charity run can act as a foundation for the association to build the vision of an inclusive society for the blind by creating awareness of BDNAB in Brunei Darussalam.

“The real adversity of blindness is not the loss of eyesight but the misconceptions and lack of information which exist to accommodate the services of the blind,” it said.

“BDNAB strives to achieve widespread intellectual understanding that creates an inclusive participation and provide tools the blind society needs to become independent,” it added.

The Brunei Times