We trained the visually impaired by introducing low vision and orientation and mobility services in the Kashmir Valley to enable an independent life for the blind youth of Kashmir.


In the summer of 2016, the Kashmir valley was devastated with violent incidents that resulted in the loss of life and blinding and maiming of thousands of civilians in this region. The local hospitals were short staffed to deal with what New York times reported as “Epidemic of Dead Eyes.” A study conducted by the Kashmir Development Foundation (KDF), found a total of 535 victims with ocular pellet injuries from the ten districts in Kashmir. Forty-eight of these victims had bilateral vision loss and ranged from the ages of 13-47. This influx of blind cases revealed the lack of health care and services for blind patients in Kashmir. The lack of low vision (LV) doctors, orientation and mobility (OM) instructors and occupational therapists in the Kashmir valley prevents people who suffer from vision loss (unilateral or bilateral) from continuing their education or acquiring the necessary skills to gain employment.


Project Noor was initiated in partnership with the HELP Foundation to meet the needs of blind patients in Kashmir. The project was designed to conduct a thorough assessment of the needs of pellet injury victims with bilateral vision loss using a questionnaire (Stage 1), to provide practical and technological trainings to these victims based on their specific needs (Stage 2), and to re-assess the victims after undergoing trainings (Stage 3). The purpose of Project Noor was to teach the visually impaired the necessary skills to: function independently, gain an education, and earn a livelihood by working rather than relying on financial support from non-profit organizations and community members. It also aimed to create a network and social community for vision loss patients in the valley with easily accessible resources for victims and their families.


Our goal was to provide various services for these patients to enable them to function independently and go back to school or work. These services included:


  • Academic and career services

  • Adaptive technology training

  • Independent living skills

  • Low vision rehabilitation

  • Orientation and mobility

  • Behavioral Health