Showing what the visually impaired can do

Fearless conquest: A participant being guided by a trail expert from the association during the #HikeSomethingNice project at Taman Rimba Bukit Kerinchi, Kuala Lumpur. — SAMUEL ONG/The Star

KUALA LUMPUR: On a tranquil Sunday morning, a remarkable group of 23 visually impaired people broke stereotypes as they embarked on a challenging hike up Taman Rimba Bukit Kerinchi.

These determined adventurers from the Society of the Blind in Malaysia (SBM) were not alone, as they were joined by trail experts from the Malim Gunung Perhutanan Selangor Association (MGPS), who provided guidance throughout the hike.

Muhammad Shahir Ramli, 33, said he appreciated this initiative, adding that it gave him the opportunity to engage in an activity that many thought impossible for the visually impaired.

He said such events are not only important for expanding social networks but also for promoting inclusivity.

“This kind of event needs support from both parties – the blind and the abled. Through this, we can create a more inclusive society.

“Anything that the abled can do, we can too, as long as we are assisted accordingly,” he added.

Representing MGPS, Muhammad Fiqri Omar, 28, agreed and said it is important to provide equal opportunities to all when it comes to recreational activities as well.

He said MGPS is dedicated to making hiking accessible to everyone, regardless of their abilities.

“It was very challenging because they had different needs from people with vision.

“Nevertheless, it was a very nice experience,” he added.

“Malim Gunung”, or mountain guide G. Kishan, 37, was delighted to guide a visually impaired hiker for the first time in his 17 years’ experience.

“Guiding blind people is totally different and challenging, but I really enjoyed it.

“We became their eyes,” said Kishan, who was partnered up with SBM member K. Murugan, 29.

Inspired by Kishan’s guidance, Murugan said he has gained confidence and now wants to tackle even taller mountains in the future.

“I’m lucky to have the best mountain guide.

“That’s all I can say. And it would be great if I could go with Kishan again,” he said.

Tan Soo Yi, a 24-year-old audio production student at Gurney Training Centre, said this programme showcased the capabilities of visually impaired individuals.

“I really appreciate the help from our guides, and I hope that the public won’t think that blind people cannot do many things.

“We can do a lot of things, the same as people with normal vision,” she said.

The programme was organised by human development company Zubedy (M) Sdn Bhd in collaboration with SBM and MGPS.

Its general manager Aby Mahmood said #HikeSomethingNice was part of a series aimed at promoting unity and inclusivity.

“We’re bridging the gap between physically abled individuals and the blind through mountain hiking.

“We want to tell people that this kind of activity is open to everyone, regardless of their condition,” he said.

As part of the National Month and Malaysia Day celebrations, the programme will continue with a 5km charity run called #ColoursRunSomewhereNice in Kepong Botanical Garden on Sept 10, in collaboration with Yayasan Muslim Aid Malaysia.

More details about the fun run can be found at https://

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Blind , Mountain Hiking , Malim Gunung , OKU


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