Nalgonda School for Blind: Visually impaired navigate the world unassisted

Nalgonda, Telangana, January 11, 2021…..Nalgonda School for the blind run by DWAB —Development and Welfare of the Blind completes 25 years and celebrates Silver Jubilee.  The Schools also observed 212th Birth Anniversary celebrations of Louis Braille, the inventor of Braille Script. 

The school is well known for  its role and in producing results.  Recognising its efforts, several Governors, Chief Ministers, President of India Mr Abdul Kalam; Prime Minister Mr Narendra Modi, State Human Rights Commission Chairman and members either visited the school or appreciated their efforts.

Chokka Rao, who himself is a visually challenged is a retired teacher and founder giving details in a press note issued in Hyderabad today said DWAB is an NGO found by the Blind for the development of the Blind in 1986. It was founded on 4th January 1996.

DWAB is running a secondary School called Nalgonda School for the Blind with residential facilities for the Visually Impaired students providing free education and boarding in a spacious four stories building of 15000sqf area. It runs classes from 1 to 10th class.

It’s journey began with just three students. It currently has 97 blind students.  Recently, the School also started English medium from Class 1 to 7.

The organization could construct its own building for school and hostel which can accommodate 300 Blind children [Boys & Girls] with all basic amenities.

It is purely run on the basis of donations. 24 batches of 10th class students passed out with 100% results.  Well over 100 visually challenged from this school secured government jobs.  About 600 students have gone for higher studies.  Lot of its students have got jobs in very good organizations and settled.

Nearly 20 people work to run the school.

Chokka Rao, who is a Secretary of 40 plus years old national body, All India Confederation for the blind says, it is better to be blind and see with your heart, than to have two good eyes and see nothing.

Blind do not need sympathy. We want a level playing field. We need opportunities. Blind are dreamers like any other ordinary people.  Blind are on par with the normal human beings on many fronts, Chokka Rao says.

Blind can smile even though they have never seen anybody else smile.

Thanks to modern technology, we the vision loss can do numerous things such as write documents, browse the internet and send and receive emails. The visually impaired are able to navigate the world unassisted informed Chokka Rao.

Be my eyes, free app connects visually impaired individuals with a sighted volunteers via video chat for assistance with everyday tasks. Dot Smartwatch can tell the date and time and share notifications  Apple has enhanced its VoiceOver features, increasing accessibility for the visually impaired.  The Read Read is an educational device that teaches Braille – without a teacher.  BrainPort uses electro-tactile technology to help blind users with orientation, mobility, and object recognition.  Eye See is a helmet prototype designed to help the visually impaired “see” the world around them.

The blind is only in the state of mind. We too can do many things like anyone. Eric Alexander, a mountaineer being blind climbed Mount Everest. Mohd Asif Iqbal, a visually challenged participated in 21 kms Marathon. There are many blind bureaucrats, says Chokka Rao. The lacking of visual perception due to physiological and/or neurological factors never stopped any visually challenged from achieving anything he added

The school gets very little support from the Government. Nearly 4 lakh per month expenditure is required to run the school. It is purely run on donations and the donations are not received to the extent needed. There is always struggle to run the home.  If philanthropic minded people and organizations do not come forward, we will have dark days ahead states Chokka Rao.  We want donors who can donate money on recurring basis.  We need material.  But the money is most important he stated.

P. Chokka Rao wants government to solve their long pending problems.  Make disabled person Commissioner as he or she best understands our problems.  We want government to issue a Government Order(GO) making it mandatory to distribute pensions to the school age blind children only after producing 90% attendance certificates  from the schools.

He also urges TS Govt to implement Persons with Disability Act 2016. They  requested to implement the Persons with Disability Act 2016 immediately, duly insisting to appoint a disabled person as the Commissioner for Disabled welfare in Government of Telangana.    According to the Act, the disabled person must be made its Commissioner. But, that never happened. He also want grant in aid file to Government of India for the current year from the government released immediately.

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