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Beckton man with sight loss encourages others to ‘stay positive’

PUBLISHED: 17:32 11 June 2015 | UPDATED: 17:32 11 June 2015

Jitesh Bavisi with wife Mekailaeh

Jitesh Bavisi with wife Mekailaeh

Archant

A former photography student who turned to a sight loss course after his vision rapidly deteriorated is encouraging others in his position to seek help and “not give up”.

Jitesh Bavisi, from Swansea Court, Gallions Reach, was registered as severely sight impaired last year. After a failed operation to remove his cataracts, the 43-year-old was diagnosed with advanced glaucoma and is now all but blind in one eye while the other has very limited and blurred vision.

It was only after taking a free course run by charity Action for Blind People that he began to regain some of his independence, hailing it a “life-changer”.

“I learned so much from the sight loss course,” he said. “Having them share that knowledge with you, it helps you just get through the day. You feel that you’re not alone.

He added: “I would advise people not to give up. To stay positive.”

Adjusting to his new lifestyle hasn’t been easy for Jitesh, who continues to work as a director of compliance at an IT firm in Aldgate East using a specialist keyboard and large screen and still commutes on the Tube using a white cane.

“Losing my vision has been challenging and something I have needed to adapt to, but I keep positive. I take each day as it comes. I consider myself lucky. There are other people who are really worse off than me.

“One thing I don’t want to do is crawl into a hole and say that’s it. I do not want to do that.”

He said a key part of his coping mechanism was the support of friends, family and his employers. In particular, wife Mekailaeh, 42, whom he met while taking photos in London for a landscape photography course at Newham college in 2012 and married just last year.

“She has become my eyes now and I don’t know what I would do without her,” he said.

While his vision may be impaired, that doesn’t stop Jitesh from still using his camera.

“My passion was photography,” he said. “I still try to use my camera as much as I can although now it is trial and error.”

Places on the course, which runs regularly in the capital, are free but must be booked in advance.

The next batch of courses will take place at the Royal National Institue for the Blind, Judd Street, Kings Cross, from June 10. They will then run on a monthly basis throughout the year.

To book email actionlondon&se@actionforblindpeople.org.uk or phone 020 7391 2151.


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