Fred’s Head from APH, a Blindness Blog

Fred’s Head, offered by the American Printing House for the Blind, contains tips, techniques, tutorials, in-depth articles, and resources for and by blind or visually impaired people. Our blog is named after the legendary Fred Gissoni, renowned for answering a seemingly infinite variety of questions on every aspect of blindness.

(See the end of this page for subscribing via email, RSS, browsing articles by subject, blog archive, APH resources, writing for Fred's Head, and disclaimers.)


Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Blind man is fire department’s ‘eyes’ for underwater operations

A 10-year-old boy has slipped and fallen into a tank near Medavakkam. Neighbours call the fire and rescue department. But the fire-fighters of the Tambaram fire station immediately make a call to Sundrarajan of Jalladampettai, near Pallikaranai.

The 38-year-old visually impaired Sundrarajan is their underwater operations expert. He rushes across with the team and dives into the tank. Within minutes, he has found the boy. Sundrarajan, who has been blind from birth, uses his sense of touch to feel his way around underwater and locate people, bodies and other objects.

“He uses his feet to ‘see’,” says a fire department officer. “He can dive into wells and tanks that are 60m deep and retrieve bodies. His sense of touch is so well-developed that he can even find chains or small coins on the bed of a water body,” he adds.

It usually takes him ten minutes to retrieve a body. “I can hold my breath underwater for more than one minute,” says Sundrarajan, who has retrieved 140 bodies and saved two lives since 1992. “But it is not an easy job as many of the tanks and wells in and around this area are quite dirty and polluted.”

Sundrarajan works part-time at a ration shop near his house in Jalladampettai, shifting and lifting bags of rice and wheat. Born as seventh child in a family of eight children, Sundrarajan hails from a lower income group family. “But I have always been independent and worked hard despite my disability. I have never lost hope,” he says. His neighbours say that Sundrarajan identifies them by their voices.

“Most people are afraid of diving into dirty water or are afraid of touching a dead body. I’m not afraid of water. I have no fear of diving in and searching for a body,” Sundrarajan said.

Article Source:
Maritime & Travel news

No comments:

Subscribe to receive posts via email

* indicates required

Browse Articles by Subject

Follow us on Twitter


Write for us

Your input and support in the evolution of Fred's Head are invaluable! Contact us about contributing original writing or for suggestions for updating existing articles. Email us at


The American Printing House for the Blind (APH) makes every attempt to ensure the accuracy and reliability of the data contained in the Fred's Head articles; however, APH makes no warranty, guarantee, or promise, expressed or implied, concerning the content or accuracy of the information provided in Fred's Head. APH does not endorse any technique, product, device, service, organization, or other information presented in Fred's Head, other than products and services directly offered by APH.

The products produced by the American Printing House for the Blind are instructional/teaching materials and are intended to be used by trained professionals, parents, and other adults with children who are blind and visually impaired. These materials are not intended as toys for use by children in unstructured play or in an unsupervised environment.

The information and techniques contained in Fred's Head are provided without legal consideration (free-of-charge) and are not warranted by APH to be safe or effective. All users of this service assume the risk of any injury or damage that may result from the use of the information provided.

Information in Fred's Head is not intended as a substitute for professional advice or treatment. Consult your physician before utilizing information regarding your health that may be presented on this site. Consult other professionals as appropriate for legal, financial, and related advice.

Fred's Head articles may contain links to other websites. APH is not responsible for the content of these sites.

Fred's Head articles created by APH staff are (C) copyright American Printing House for the Blind, Inc. You must request permission from APH to reprint these articles. Email to request permission.

Any submissions to Fred's Head should be free of copyright restrictions and should be the intellectual property of the submitter. By submitting information to Fred's Head, you are granting APH permission to publish this information.

Fair Use Notice: This website may contain copyrighted material whose use has not been specifically authorized by the copyright holder(s). This site is operated on the assumption that using this information constitutes 'fair use' of said copyrighted material as provided for in Section 107 of U.S. Copyright Law.

Opinions appearing in Fred's Head records are solely those of the contributor and do not necessarily reflect the views of the American Printing House for the Blind.