In a small village of Chhattisgarh’s Raigarh district, a farmer has become a source of light in the lives of about 30 visually-challenged children by helping them pursue education through a free residential school.
Barun Kumar Pradhan (56) runs the school ‘Netrahin Bal Vidya Mandir (NBVM)’ in Amlidih village, located around 27 km away from district headquarters. The school has brought transformation in the lives of the children, mostly belonging to destitute families, who, beside education and sports, also receive vocational training.
I don’t want any blind children to beg on the streets and get exploited. I want to make them self-reliant and have a bright future, Pradhan said.
The school was started in 2014 and the number of wards at the institute is likely to double this year.
We are expecting the strength to reach 60 in this new academic session as we are being approached by many people in and around the region, he said.
The special school, till class VI, also has five visually-impaired teachers, including a married couple -Jaidev Sahu (28) and Kiran Sahu (26). Himani, Pradhan’s 19-year-old daughter is the headmistress of the school. Some like-minded people also supported the founder to set up and run the school, which does not receive any financial aid from the government.
NBVM educates the children through Braille and also helps them develop various life skills that can make them self-dependent, said Himani.
Recalling her father’s initial efforts to set up the school, she said, it was her visually-impaired cousin who became a source of inspiration for him to take a pledge to work for such children.
I never imagined that I would ever go to school. I want to become a teacher and spread the light of education in backward areas, Ajay Mehar, a Class VI student, said.
Six-year-old Khgeshwari Yadav also aspires to become a teacher and help children like her. The students of the school have been felicitated on many occasions at various platforms.