Hemraj Dogra, a PhD scholar in Hindi, was raised and schooled in the Blind relief association, New Delhi. Studying in Delhi University was his dream and securing an admission in Ramjas College of The University of Delhi was that dream come true. Unfortunately his journey to the visual world wasn’t what he had expected.
Being visually impaired never made him think of himself being at a disadvantage, instead he felt that he experienced things differently. He fell in love when he was in his second year and many couldn’t understand how a visually impaired person could fall in love. “He can’t see you after all!”, they would reason with the girl he loved. Soon, she left him. He was heart broken but didn’t lose hope and knew that people need to think beyond their preconceived notions and hence he decided to educate them that ‘Love needs no eyes’.
Chronicling Hemraj’s experience with love was a highly revealing window into the educational and social barriers experienced by visually challenged people. Stories like Hemraj’s give us a better understanding of our society.
The motive of the project is to increase awareness among the society, at large to treat people as normal human beings and not as people with a condition. The photographs try to take the viewer through a series of emotions experienced by Hemraj and try to showcase that love experienced by him is not much different from the experience of a sighted person. In his words “Treat us as humans not blind humans”.
Photos and text by Akshay Nagpal