It’s quite puzzling and beautiful how life surprises you by throwing things so unexpectedly at you…Here we were looking for a new project to work on, when we stumbled upon ‘Devnar Blind School’ located in Begumpet, Hyderabad. It had over 200 visually impaired students. We had informed the authorities there beforehand about our visit. So they had arranged for someone to show us around. And this wasn’t just some person. It was a Semi-visually-impaired child who gave us a tour of the school. What was truly mind-blowing was that he was a National Level cricketer, learnt dance from Lawrence (a famous choreographer in South Indian films), and was also a topper in studies, and that these children here were competing not only among themselves but even with children who could see!!! The learning method of these children is “touch and learn”, and also audio records which contained the lessons in the text books that were read out for the records by the teachers.
We found out from this child that he wasn’t the only one with all those achievements and that the school was filled with children who were state rankers in studies and also had various achievements in extracurricular activities. All excited, he showed us an ocean of certificates stating these children’s achievements; which left us completely mesmerized. These children were always happy and enjoyed themselves thoroughly. Never did we see a dull face there. This showed us how ignorant most of us are to neglect such children feeling that they are a burden. These children inspired us, motivated us and made us feel immensely lucky. We started seeing the better side of all aspects of our lives and began to believe that these children are disabled in no way. Rather, they were much stronger, much more courageous and much more gifted than anyone of us could ever be!!!
We decided to invest our funds in play equipment (multiple cricket kits, volleyballs, badminton racquets, etc), cassette recorders, etc. We also served them lunch and recorded lessons for them on cassettes by reading them out ourselves. A truly scintillating experience we can never forget.