International Day of Persons with Disabilities


In the light of the International Day of Persons with Disabilities that is being marked on December 3rd, we would like to share the story of Syed, who suffered from blindness in one eye. ASB helped him regain his sight by supporting him as well as funding his surgery.

For seven years, 65-year-old Syed Karim has struggled with a severe visual impairment that has limited his life. Syed lives in the suburb of Ramu Upazila, near the city of Cox’s Bazar in Bangladesh. He earned his living by selling nuts from the betel palm. Karim’s blurred vision was attributed to a clouding of the lens of his eye. The condition made it increasingly difficult for him to carry out his daily tasks.

Over time, his condition had deteriorated to the point where he could no longer tell whether a betel nut was fresh or too old. He was also unable to recognise banknotes. Syed had to give up his job because of the eye disease. To support the family financially, he and his wife went into the nearby mountains to collect firewood. During this difficult time, they sought the advice of a doctor in a hospital. The doctor recommended an eye operation to treat his failing eyesight. Unable to afford an operation, Karim bought four pairs of glasses, but they soon broke.

In March 2023, Syed was informed by the local authority that he could attend a free eye screening. The screening was organised by the Centre for Disability in Development (CDD) with funding from ASB. Syed attended the screening – and the doctors recommended bilateral surgery. Syed then underwent the first surgery, followed by a second twelve days later. The surgeries were made possible by the CDD and ASB.

Syed’s life took on a new meaning after his successful eye operation. With his clear vision, he was finally able to work again. In addition to the eye operation, CDD also gave Syed a goat to sell for milk. “I am very grateful for this help,” he says happily today.


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ASB is a German aid and welfare organisation, engaged in areas such as civil protection, rescue services and social welfare services. As a non-political organisation, ASB has, since its foundation in 1888, provided rapid and direct help to all those in need of our support.

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