Rajesh’s mother noticed soon after his birth that Rajesh had a problem with his eyes which were always red and weepy, but it was only after his second birthday that the doctor decided to take action and send Rajesh to Mauritius for further tests. He was prescribed glasses and attended his local primary school until it became so difficult for him that he transferred to the GPL Centre in 2009 when he was 6 years old. Despite his severe visual impairment, Rajesh was able to follow his classes and participate in all the school activities until August 2013 when his sight deteriorated rapidly until he could detect only light. He was sent to Mauritius then on to Chenai in India but the doctors there felt that they could do nothing to save his sight and sent him home.
Rajesh’s mother was so distressed that the staff of the GPL Centre were determined to do whatever was necessary to enable Rajesh to continue his schooling. Susan Auguste contacted the two organizations for the blind in Mauritius and followed a brief introduction to teaching Braille. We were offered a Perkins Braille machine and Peninna Francois, one of our teachers, went to Mauritius for two weeks in February 2014 for further training in Braille. Meanwhile, our namesake, Mr. Gonzague Pierre Louis, himself blind (see ‘Background to GPL Center) offered to help Rajesh with Mobility. He is a very confident, independent 10 year old and we are all amazed at the progress he has made in the first 5 weeks of this new school year. He already knows the Braille alphabet and can write a number of words on his peg board (which was invented for him while awaiting his Braille machine).
Rajesh helped to carry the Queen’s Baton for the Commonwealth Games relay in Rodrigues in February this year.