With the support and encouragement of Meera Badve, Founder and Director of the Niwant Andh Mukta Vikasalaya, Pune, thousands of visually challenged people have re-invented themselves and are living a life filled with hope. From selling chocolates to programming for Google, they are unleashing their potential to the fullest. “There is no limit to what visually challenged people can do. We are the ones who are blind to the possibilities,” says Mrs. Badve.
Mrs. Meera Badve started Niwant Andh Mukta Vikasalaya in 1996. Niwant was a dream then. Mrs. Badve had nothing else other than her own house, talent, and a strong will to devote her life for the cause of upliftment of the visually challenged students-telling them that education was their birth right.
The results of Mrs. Badve’s hard work are clearly visible today-
More than 2000 students have walked out of Niwant as self-reliant individuals.
Every student from Niwant has passed Higher Secondary Education and most have them have graduated in from various streams.
Some of them are pursuing their Ph.D.
Many topped in their respective academic fields.
150 members enrolled every year.
22 different subjects taught from almost every stream of higher education- Law, Commerce, Library Science, MCM, Arts, Science, Bakery, Dancing, to name a few.
16 Braille library branches in Maharashtra and 1 at Goa with a humungous collection of over 3000 Braille books, rendered free-of-cost to the needy.
Today, team Niwant has people from various age groups-retired personnel, housewives to young college students. They help in recording audio materials for the students, translating and typing in the local Marathi language, volunteering as scribe for exams and many more. Experts from IT field all have formed a human chain and are giving a slice of their life for the noble cause.
Many students from Niwant are now employed in various fields as Bank Officers, legal advisors, counselors, teachers, Software Developers; in Railways, P.W.D., Tata Yazaki, Minda Sai, Seed InfoTech; as Telephone operators, Lift Operators, Braille Printers, proof readers, hardware administrators, technical translators for German and Japanese.
Sound mind dwells in a sound body
Niwant has produced International Level Cricketers and Chess players. 120 students of Niwant conquered the Torana Fort this year. 21 girls completed Pinkathon- four of them ran 10 km with a record timing of 59 minutes. Niwant is always fledged with myriad activities- dancing, drawing, singing, planting trees, donating blood, imitating bird calls, performing yoga and mallakhamb, Judo, playing cricket and organizing state level tournaments, skating and many more.
Noteworthy success stories
A group of students has formed “Television” – a software writing firm which is receiving many projects including 9 paid projects by Boardwalk – a U.S. based company
Another group works on ‘Choco Niwant’ – the excellent chocolate making unit
Others are engaged in Braille card writing, making paper bags and organdy flowers, origami handicraft
Amol Kharche, a student at Niwant, is a member of the Indian Blind Cricket team and was the hero of the Blind Cricket World Cup 2014 when he took 2 crucial wickets against Pakistan in the final match, paving a way for India’s victory.
A small video clip that presents the story:
SO CAN ‘EYE’
Many are now married, have children and are leading a mainstream life through Niwant’s efforts. Moreover, they are now contributing back, channeling their effort through the alumni club, ‘So Can Eye’. They have not forgotten their institution, infact they are playing a stellar role, many of the settled ones donating around Rs 20,000 to Niwant to help younger members get an education. She is proud of the fact that begging bowls were replaced by Braille books. Self-respect is the motto of Niwant where vision is no bar.
“They are no longer an unproductive part of the society.They, too, have contributed to the beauty of the world!”
-Mrs. Meera Badve
Mrs. Badve was honored with the “Tata Chemicals Desh Ka Namak Award” for being an inspiring hero of the Nation-2014 (for having contributed to nation building). Through the nationwide campaign, Tata Chemicals collected 200 inspirational stories.
We all have memories attached to our schools. Yes, obviously we do, otherwise, why would we be all excited for our school’s 10-year reunion? Because reunions are the time when we get to relive those juvenile memories and cherish the good old days.
The times we shared the same bench with our best friend and played tic tac toe on the desk. The times we took toilet breaks in the middle of a class only to secretly loiter around the corridors. The brilliant lunches we shared with our friends on the school playground during recess. Reminiscing over these memories warms our hearts.
Did you know that at least 35 million children between the age group of 6-14 do not attend school in India? There have been several reports that girls drop out of school because of a lack of basic facilities such as toilets. These children are not only missing out on basic education, but they are also missing out on those wonderful memories.
In a bid to make early education accessible to all, HIL Limitedhas taken a wonderful initiative. HIL Limited believe in the fact that when we do things together, better things happen, standing by their philosophy of ‘Together We Build’. In the film, you can see a small child Kamli. The naive child makes a colorful paper lantern for Diwali and gifts it to her school, which is in shambles. She is eager to learn and her adamant heart still gives her the hope that the colourful lantern might make her broken school a little brighter. After her Diwali holidays, when she comes back to her school and finds it prettier her heart rejoices.
HIL Limited believes that education is the right step towards bringing young minds together and creating a feeling of togetherness. Their social initiative has helped 75,000 children like Kamli by rebuilding their schools.
Now, these children would not miss out on basic education. They will also get to make beautiful memories that they will cherish for a very long time. This would also make their future stronger and more reliable. If you know any such school that needs attention, then please write to[email protected].
The Logical Indian appreciates HIL Limited for the wonderful initiative they have taken to make the future of so many underprivileged children better. Children are the future of the country and we hope that by making their future secure, we are taking our country forward.