First Class for 11 Visually Challenged Students
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26 May 2010
At the Niwant Andha Mukta Vikasalay, in Tingrenagar it was celebration time. Eleven of the 22 candidates who appeared for the standard XII ( HSC) exam this year, got a first class. While 20 students took up arts, two students opted for the minimum competency vocational courses (MCVC).
According to Meera Badve, founder of the NGO and the students’ mentor, “Such results are due to technology which has made Braille literature easily available to the students. The MP3 players which enable the reading out of lessons to the students also helped. These students have been coming to Niwant in the evenings for the last three years now, giving us a chance to mould them, ” she said.
The challenges before Badve’s organisation were not the students’ handicap, but that they came from economically weak backgrounds. “However, the progress they made, not just academically, but in picking up social skills,” she said.
Badve said the visually challenged needed a chance, not concessions. “They should be studying the same level of mathematics and science prescribed for their respective class as there is nothing wrong with their ability to comprehend,” she said. The students now have the option of taking up careers in computers and a vocational course.
Salim Attar and Nishant Mane who opted for the bakery-confectionery course were in for special praise. Badve said that their success had paved the way for four more students to take up the stream in standard XII. “The MCVC stream teaches them a skill, and makes them employable.”