Baldev Gulati loves to eat out. Friends and family often join him, but sometimes he likes to go on a date with himself. There’s one problem — Gulati is blind.
The 43-year-old businessman, sightless since birth, was tired of asking waiters and fellow diners to read restaurant menus out loud. Gulati’s food choices were restricted and he couldn’t experiment with cuisines. That’s when the thought struck him — why not get restaurants in Delhi to introduce menus in Braille?
“[Eating out] was always a pain to me. When I am paying equally to the restaurants, why restaurants are not taking care of my needs?” said Gulati, the owner of a department store in west Delhi that employs the visually impaired.
“The worst part is when you’re throwing a party or when you are going to eat on your own, you can’t ask the waiter how much is what for. A particular dish or a bottle of beer is for how much? That looks very awkward,” he said.
India is home to around 12 million blind people, according to official estimates. Advances in technology have made access to education easier but advocates for the blind say these changes help only a minority living in urban India.