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Making a Difference

Discussion in 'Snippets of Life (Non-Fiction)' started by rvnachar, Dec 20, 2006.

  1. rvnachar

    rvnachar Silver IL'ite

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    I am happy that many of the IL members responded positively to my article. So, I thought of sharing something very inspiring with all my IL friends. When most of us are busy spending all our time in satisfying our personal needs, it is nice to see a few amongst us leading their lives in a very useful way, helping many other people. I am happy that I could meet one such person very near my house recently, about whom I have been talking to everybody I meet, because, she is a very special person indeed. Here is the article I wrote about her in the local daily and I am sure all my IL friends would find it interesting and inspiring.
    In the Indian culture, daughters and daughters-in-law are said to bring light into homes. . Ms.Muktha R. Gubbi has brought light into the lives of not just a home but forty four children and half a dozen other women.

    <?xml:namespace prefix = st1 ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:eek:ffice:smarttags" /><st1:place><st1:placeName>Mathru</st1:placeName> <st1:placeType>School</st1:placeType></st1:place> for the Blind,<INS cite=mailto:sudha dateTime=2006-11-17T10:51> </INS>a free residential school for blind children, is located amidst a group of residential apartment buildings and stands out in that dull group, with its bright colours, aesthetic structure, lovely garden and neat environs. This school offers formal education to blind children under the CBSE syllabus up to middle school and under the State syllabus thereafter, in the English medium. The building is spacious, well equipped and well ventilated with brightly coloured walls. Ms.Muktha later told me that she had used bright colours on purpose to add colours to the colourless lives of the blind. Never a moment is there any apathy or sorrow or demand for sympathy in the air.

    “As any other physically challenged person, I too hate sympathy”, says Muktha, as she unfurls her story. In 1985, she lost a major portion of one of her feet in a <INS cite=mailto:sudha dateTime=2006-11-17T10:54>serious </INS>bus accident and her life was shattered. She staunchly believes that Guru Raghavendra of Manthralaya has only helped her to get back on foot, after 3 years of harrowing experience.

    “After my M.A., I did my law. I now practice law as well teach in a couple of colleges. Meanwhile, I was in touch with the Vocational Rehabilitation Centre, as a trainee. There I got inspired to do something for the physically challenged children. I started off with a couple of blind children in my house at Maruthinagar, near Yelahanka in 2001”.

    In order to expand the school and provide better amenities for the children, Ms.Muktha purchased this 10000sq.ft. site in <st1:place><st1:placeName>Yelahanka</st1:placeName> <st1:placeName>Satellite</st1:placeName> <st1:placeType>Town</st1:placeType></st1:place> from Karnataka Housing Board, after a lot of efforts. But she was in for a shock when she faced a lot of retaliation and humiliation from the neighbours, who did not like her idea. But with God’s grace and her strong determination, Muktha completed this project costing Rs.73 lakhs with purely the donations from kind hearted people from around the world like Asha for Education (New Jersey Chapter) of the U.S.(Rs.25 lacs), the Acharya Educational Institutions, Hesaraghatta, M/s Birla Foundation (Rs.3 lacs), another private charitable organization, who donated the solar heating system and lovely furniture costing nearly Rs.60000/- for the classrooms and m<INS cite=mailto:sudha dateTime=2006-11-17T10:51>a</INS>ny more donors.

    “Here is my son, sent by God, who may take over this school after me”, says Muktha, cuddling a 9 month old Raghavendra. This bubbly and cute child was abandoned immediately after birth, at her doors.

    “There are six other orphans too in my school. Besides, among the 44 blind children, 14 are orphans. Love is the only language I strongly believe in.” Manjula, a physically challenged destitute lady, today is of great help in the kitchen, in return for mere love. There are seven blind teachers.

    Ms.Vanaja, the computer trainer, also visually impaired, tells us about ‘Jaws’, the software which helps the blind to use the computers and also the E-Slate, which was developed right in that school, as a research project of Ms.Nidhi Kalra and Mr.Tom Lauweres of the Robotics Institute at Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh.
    To simplify the use of Braille technique, Mathru and <st1:place><st1:placeName>Carnegie</st1:placeName> <st1:placeName>Mellon</st1:placeName> <st1:placeType>University</st1:placeType></st1:place> created the automated tutor. The hardware is an electronic slate and stylus, called an ‘E-Slate’ which transmits a student’s writing to a computer. Specifically, the electrical contact between the slate and stylus is interpreted by a microprocessor. The computer-based software tutor analyses the writing for correctness and uses text-to-speech synthesis to give students immediate audio feedback on what they are writing. This helps the learner to better understand the cause and effect phenomenon of writing Braille. This is a first of its kind E-Slate. For more information on this log on to http://www.cs.cmu.edu/-nidhi/brailletutor.html or http://brailletutor.blogspot.com


    All the children are bubbling with energy and enthusiasm. Ms.Bhagya secured the first rank in Dip. In Teaching for the Blind, competing with a general group.

    Ms.Muktha has more plans in her mind, if only she gets the right kind of support.
    The school runs purely on donations. Donations are exempted from IT, as per Sec.G. The school can be contacted on 28463992, 9886032632.

    As I walk out of the school half-heartedly, the wall hangings with lovely sayings inspire me- ‘Love brings vision’; ‘Kindness is the language which is heard by the deaf, seen by the blind’; ‘All we need is an opportunity and care’.

    Sudha Narasimhachar

    PS: I tried posting pictures but I did not know how to do that. Interested persons may view the pictures in my blog 'Making a Difference' under narasu on Sulekha.com
     
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  2. Vandhana

    Vandhana Silver IL'ite

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    Dear Sudha,

    Just now finished reading this and was moved to tears. The best gift that we can give anyone is the gift of education and this wonderful lady is giving it to the visually imparied. It is really wonderful to read the strides that she has made and the positive changes that she has brought into the lives of these 44 children.
    Am surely going to go and visit her school next time i am in bangalore. Your description of the school was so good. Thanks for bringing to our notice the existence of such a wonderful person. Now I am off to read more about her in your blog.

    Vandhana
     
  3. varalotti

    varalotti IL Hall of Fame

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    Very Moving, Sudha!

    Dear Sudha,
    It is high time that we turn our attention to these personalities from movie stars and cricket heroes. And here's a sincere human being who even deprived of something wants to give everything she has to the society.
    May the clan of Muktha increase. May her school grow.
    A wonderfully written article, Sudha.
    regards,
    sridhar
     
  4. Kamla

    Kamla IL Hall of Fame

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    Goodness will always live

    Dear Sudha,

    Another interesting article from you. This time, I do not feel comfortable to call it an 'article'...it is real life, as it is. Mrs Muktha must be a beautiful lady, she commands my respect and awe. It is such people who keep the goodness alive in our world. I too know of a lady in B'lore who has made it her mission to look after destitute women who have been shunned by their own families because they were either blind or otherwise handicapped. These Ladies are the drops of pure water that maketh an ocean of kindness.

    L, Kamla
     
    Last edited: Dec 21, 2006
  5. Varloo

    Varloo Gold IL'ite

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    Dear Sudha,
    this is a very moving write up. It is always difficult for blind people, more than people with any other problem, to live in this world. So it is so great a service to help such people. I salute this lady for her noble work.
    I shall make it a point to go and meet the people there when I go to B'lore, now my family is there near IIM (I think it is near to the school). I have a wish to be a scribe to blind people, once my duties at home are a little lighter. I sincerely hope that this wish of me is granted by the Almighty.
     
  6. meenu

    meenu Bronze IL'ite

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    very inspiring

    Dear Sudha,
    You do write lovely articles like varalotti. This school is really amazing. As you rightly said while most people while away time at the TV very few give back to society what society has given them by God,s grace. Do post more such lively articles which are eye openers to society.
    Regards,
    Meenu
     
  7. kanaka Raghavan

    kanaka Raghavan IL Hall of Fame

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    dear sudha your article was touching. there are millions who work for good causes and they go unnoticed.it is high time people stopped thinking about themselves and started helping the community.hats off sudha .warmly kanaka raghavan
     
  8. kanaka Raghavan

    kanaka Raghavan IL Hall of Fame

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    dear sudha your article was touching. there are millions who work for good causes and they go unnoticed.it is high time people stopped thinking about themselves and started helping the community.hats off sudha .warmly kanaka raghavan
     

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