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Social Entrepreneur and Disability Advocate George Abraham Visits Campus

Published: 1 year ago | 0 comments

George Abraham lost his sight when he was 10 months old, and he has spent more than three decades as a social entrepreneur who works to advocate for visually impaired individuals.

Abraham spent the day on Duke’s campus Oct. 4 – his last stop on his visit here from India. The Duke Center for International Development and the Duke Innovation & Entrepreneurship Initiative presented a lunch conversation with Abraham held at the Sanford School of Public Policy. The lunch was an intimate gathering attended by undergraduates, graduate students and faculty members.

Abraham’s background is in advertising, but he also has been working as a changemaker and advocates for “focus(ing) on the ability rather than the disability.” He has been using sport and communication to nurture ability, build awareness, and impact lives. 

In 1990, Abraham launched national cricket programs for the blind in India and established the World Blind Cricket Council, which helps spread awareness about an altered game of cricket that allows visually impaired players to play by relying on their sense of sound.

Abraham also founded Score Foundation, where he continues to serve as CEO, in 2002. The nonprofit’s mission is to initiate a conversation on how to lead a life with blindness, as well as provide resources and support for visually impaired individuals.

“There is a huge misconception of why people are disabled and what they are capable of,” Abraham told students in classes he visited during his recent trip to Duke, “Entrepreneurial Problem Solving in Global Health” taught by Dennis Clements and “Social Innovation” taught by Matt Nash. “People with disabilities need to be invested in rather than just provided for.”

Score Foundation’s flagship program, Project Eyeway, is a single-stop knowledge resource for blind and visually impaired people and aims to change lives through the power of knowledge.

A recipient of the prestigious Ashoka fellowship, Abraham has been conferred with awards such as the Sanskriti Award, the Rotary Vocational Award, The Limca Book of Record’s “People of the Year” Award. In 1996, he also had the privilege of running with the Olympic Torch at Atlanta. Abraham holds undergraduate and graduate degrees from Delhi University and is the co-author of a book about inclusive education.
  
“I just want to be a traveling ambassador,” Abraham said, “a traveling light for people with vision impairment.” 

Photos by Katherine Black

Photo of George Abraham speaking

Photo of George Abraham speaking to class

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