February 20th, 2017
A few decades ago, being blind meant a life of confinement. There weren’t as many opportunities for the visually impaired to receive education and employment. The society pitied them, and many families considered them a burden. But, this man did not let any such events and mindsets hinder him.
40-year-old Niranjan Kumar Jha lost his eyesight when he was in class 3. Instead of losing hope, he persevered and is now tutoring children in his area.
He shared his story and experiences with The Logical Indian.
How did this incident occur?
I was in class 3 and writing my exams in the month of June. That day is imprinted in my memory. As a child, whenever I was afraid, I used to close my eyes until I felt safe again. On this particular day, I heard other children shouting ‘Snake! Snake!’. I was so afraid that I closed my eyes instinctively. I don’t know whether the snake was there, but after that, I could not open my eyes. It was as if someone glued my eyes shut. My parents took me to the doctors, but no one could help. Even today I don’t know what caused it. But, I lost my eyesight.
Was it difficult to continue your education?
Yes. It was so sudden and without reason. I was lost. But, every cloud has a silver lining. I could persuade my high school teacher Jitendra Singh to start teaching me mathematics and physics orally. He inspired me. He gave me a good understanding of both the subjects. Braille texts weren’t there at that time. So, I continued learning by ear.
How did your tutoring journey begin?
I was teaching at a convent school. The Principal’s nephew and I became good friends in the course of time. On his request, I started tutoring one of his friend’s sons. The boy scored well in all his exams. His father was so happy that he gave my reference to every student. That is how this started. Currently, I have 50 students from classes 10 and 12.
I do not charge any fee from the poor and disabled students. And it makes me happy that all my students work very hard and are sincere in their work. I hope to continue teaching all my life.
Where do you conduct the classes?
I stay in the house of my deceased older brother. I conduct the classes there. It is in Sardar Tola in Gulabbagh near Sadar Police Station. The classroom is painted with vibrant colours so that the children feel active and energised.
How do you teach without a blackboard?
I use words to draw the imagery instead of blackboards. Students frame the image in their mind by the explanations I give and understand the point I want to convey.
What are your other interests?
I spend my time listening to the radio or television. I feel the radio is an excellent medium to learn things. I hope the local radio station commences educational programme for teachers.
The Logical Indian salutes Niranjan Kumar Jha for his undying spirit and his passion for helping students achieve their dreams.