28 Toppers with Visual Impairment Felicitated

Visually challenged but academically brilliant, Pradeep R., a student of St. Louis School for the Deaf and the Blind, Chennai, is staunchly determined to become an IAS officer and A. Jareen Banu, a resident of a village in Karur, plans to study English literature to become a professor.

Several stories of grit surfaced at a felicitation ceremony organised by Nethrodaya, a city based self-help organisation for the visually impaired, on Sunday to applaud the efforts of 28 students with visual impairment across the State who secured more than thousand marks in the XII standard examinations this year.

While most of these students, largely from rural schools, expressed their desire to study English literature, some talked about their interest in economics and music, too. As technology pervades life in general, most of them accepted that CDs, cassettes and even ipods with specially crafted audio lectures and unique revision techniques enabled them to retain concepts.

“To reduce the dependency on books, we have come up with CDs that have text converted into audio. This would help them become more independent and confident,” said P. Govinda Krishnan, founder of Nethrodaya.

Justice S. Nagamuthu of the Madras High Court presented the awards to the young achievers. On the need to direct the efforts made by several supporters and the Government to reach the right persons, he said, “We belong to a State that has a visually challenged High Court Judge and several extraordinary lawyers who perform equally well and sometimes better than others.

The need of the hour is Government’s support to aid them scientifically and use technology to provide better training assistance.”

“We live in a technological age where distances and face to face communications don’t matter much. All that we ask for is acceptance from the society and an opportunity to prove our ability. We seek support that doesn’t dismiss us or limit us to any professions,” Mr. Govinda Krishnan said. The other guests included P.N. Prakash, advocate, Akhila Srinivasan, managing director, Shriram Life Insurance.

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