Shri RaosahebVamanraoWadegaonkar, founder of The Blind Relief Association Nagpur’s, proved to be a ray of hope for the visually challenged. Inspite of being sightless he had a sight to work selflessly and determinedly for the cause of the visually challenged. He was aware of the trials and tribulations faced by a visually challenged person on the way to accomplish their dreams and experience success. Shri. Wadegaonkar was a firm believer in ‘Nothing Is Impossible’ and hence worked assiduously to motivate the visually challenged to go ahead in life. He made sincere efforts to educate the visually challenged so that they can be self reliant and live their life with full dignity. He proved to be a ‘Messenger of God’ for the visually challenged.
On 12th May 1937, Shri. Raosaheb Wamanrao Wadegaonkar was bestowed the title of ‘Rao Saheb’, by King George V of London. He worked with heart and soul for the noble cause of ‘Service of Visually Challenged.’ Shri. Wadegaonkar left for the heavenly abode in the year 1966. He will always be immortal for his humane nature, noble deeds, simplicity and selfless service for the visually challenged. It was the dedication and commitment of Shri. Wadegaonkar and his family that the AndhVidyalaya prospered. His extraordinary working ability and communication skills helped the ‘AndhVidyalaya’ to flourish.
Vidharbh’s I AndhVidyalaya was established on 19th Aug’1928 on the auspicious day of Ganesh Chaturthi, at Shri Pingle’shouse,Dhantoli, Nagpur.
On this occasion a soul stirring incident was experienced by Shri. WamanraoWadegaonkar. On his visit to a remote village, he came across a group of people who appeared to be miserable and sorrowful. On inquiry, he came to know about a visually challenged boy whose parents wished to poison him to death. When Raosaheb asked about the reason he was told about the parent’s helplessness to educate him as he was blind and their view that it would be difficult for the boy to live a normal life after their death. On this Raosaheb assured that he himself was going to begin a school for blind and would admit the boy in his school.
Initially, to advertise and spread this novel concept of ‘School for Visually Challenged’, Raosaheb would go all around the city to collect donations. Along with him, Shri Madhavrao Gowalkar Guruji, Dwitiya Sarsanghchalak of RSS, Pragyabharti Shridhar Bhaskar Warnekar – Institute’s Teacher, strived hard to accumulate donations for the Institute. In 1935, on South Ambazari Road the construction of ‘AndhVidyalaya’ started and hence the Institute was “`reinstated.
The education of the visually challenged depends on touch and experience. Hence they need to be handled with extreme patience and compassion. In order to develop interest in education every student needs to be given personal attention. To accomplish this, special teachers are appointed by the Institute. Most of the students in Institute come from financially weaker section of society. The Institute strives hard to inculcate moral values, develop their self confidence and thus bring them in the main stream of society. All the year round programmes related to health, value education, resourcefulness, cultural, sports, competitions are organized by the Institute. Various extracurricular activities are taken for students. As per the strength sanctioned, in all 130 blind students are provided meals, dining and residential facilities in the Institute free of cost.
It also provides students daily needs, uniform, medicines, medical facility, educational books set, library, tactile reader, etc. without any charge. The students are also given computer training and prepared to handle latest technology. Healthy food, Happy and Enthusiastic Environment, Clean and Green Premises have made the hostel premises an ideal place to stay. The students here are not only academically successful but also have their personalities developed.
The Institute’s goal is to educate & train a visually challenged to be self reliant and be competent to live his life with dignity and self respect. With this aim, Institute established a workshop- ‘Sheltered Workshop for the Visually Challenged.’ Inspite of limitations, various projects which the visually challenged can execute and which can rehabilitate them are going on in the workshop. Presently they are being trained in stitching, massage, making paper plates, cane work. 50 such visually challenged students are undergoing training in the workshop. In order to enrol in workshop one doesn’t require any specific educational qualification but must be between the age group of 18 and 35 yrs. The training period is 2 to 4 years. At times, students pursue their education with the training. After the training the Institute also supports visually challenged students monetarily to start their own business. Many such visually challenged students have been given sewing machines, literature for massage, so they can stand on their own by the institute. The students are also educated in latest computer technology.
Mundle English Medium School (Integrated) was established in 1998, in the nature friendly and lush green premises of AndhVidyalaya. The school’s vision focuses on imparting moral values, strengthening academics, exposure to extracurricular activities, inculcate Indian culture and traditions and develop the all round personality of children. The school has touched new milestones from its inception due to cooperative and efficient Managing Committee, dedicated Administrative Staff and qualified and hardworking teachers. Time and again the school has proved its mettle not only in academics but also in sports, science, research, interschool competitions, mathematics, environment, music, dramatics, art and craft, etc. The school has carved a nitch as one of the most coveted and best schools of Nagpur. The students have brought laurels in various sports at National, State and District Level Sports Meets. The school follows SSC Board Curriculum and has 1300 students from Std. I – X. The school has state of art infrastructure with well equipped Library, Computer lab, Science lab, Maths lab, English lab, Art & Craft Room. The teachers strive enthusiastically to bring out the hidden talents of students and provide appropriate guidance. The students have immensely benefitted from these facilities and have brought acclaim by being successful in various fields. The school has also maintained its legacy of 100% results in SSC Board Examination since its inception. The recognition gained by the school has helped The Blind Relief Association Nagpur’s to gain financial stability. The school promotes integrated education, thus, physically disabled and visually challenged along with normal students are availing the benefits of high standard education at competent and fair fees.
The Blind Relief Association Nagpur was gifted land in charity on Hingna Road, by Shri Ganguly Family. As per the objective of the Institute, it was proposed to start a project for visually challenged on the land. To start with, as per the wish of Ganguly family a ‘Shiv Mandir’ was erected by the Institute. Along with the Shiv Mandir, the Institute also started a library and a pharmacy from the funds given by Dr. Dahake. Recently, Abhyasika (study room / research cubicle) has also been started. Around 100 students pursuing graduation, post graduation, and various competitive exams are being benefitted by the Abhyasika. The peaceful and pleasing premises are an apt place for the young learners.
The Blind Relief Association Nagpur’s started English Medium Nursery School in the year 2005. The school is marching to glory due to the sincere and dedicated efforts taken by the Principal and staff. Students are being groomed by qualified, compassionate and talented teachers. The school has won the hearts of one and all due to its lush green and eco friendly premises and safe and secured environment. It is equipped with a toy area for kids and teaching aids to simplify understanding. The school organizes workshops for parents on different topics and lays emphasis on inculcating moral values and developing various artistic skills in students.
The Institute has been given Braille Printer by Government of India.Withthe help of the printer the institute is doing the phenomenal task of printing books in Braille. Literature in about 14 Indian languages can be printed with the help of this printer. The institute has printed various historical, religious and story books at pocket friendly rates.
The institute has also set up an Audio Recording Studio which has proved to be a boon for the visually challenged. The curriculum from Std. X, XII to graduation as well as curriculum of various competitive exams can be recorded on Abrar. It has proved to be exceptionally helpful to visually challenged who are unable to achieve their academic goals. This project of the Institute has proved to be of immense help and support to the visually challenged.
As mentioned above, the institution proposed a project for visually challenged on the same land. Madhav Netralaya approached the Institute regarding the land on Hingna Road and expressed their wish to start An Eye Hospital of International Standards on it. This proposal was unanimously accepted by the Managing Committee in the Annual General Meeting as it fulfilled the objective and vision of the Institute. Accordingly, the land was given to Madhav Netralaya on lease after completing verification of all the government documents and taking necessary permissions. In the near future, an Eye Hospital of International Level will be set up.
In this journey of 90 years, the Institute has faced difficult times with respect to financial problems, disruption in the smooth functioning of Institute by outsiders but the Institute remained firm to its objective of working selflessly for the visually challenged. The Institute is bestowed with dedicated, sincere, determined managing committee who has worked hard and selflessly to maintain the dignity of the institute. The institute feels extremely proud to mention about its managing committee. The list of President and Secretary, since the inception of the Institute, is appended in leaflet. Association is grateful to them.
The society has always rendered help to the Institute through donations due to its outstanding work and transparency in financial matters. Time and again, the Institute has experienced the philanthropic nature of society and is indebted to its well-wishers. The institute is confident & believes that in future too it will be supported financially by such noble people. The teachers and other employees have also played an important role by contributing selflessly in this humanitarian work. The institute is marching ahead on the path shown by its founder Shri Raosaheb Wamanrao Wadegaonkar.
This leaflet states the work done by the Institute in last 90 years. From last 90 years, The Blind Relief Association Nagpur’s has been working staunchly for the visually challenged. The executive committee is aware of the immense financial support, encouragement and help extended by the society and has faith to receive the same response in future. With the changing times, there needs to be a change in the lives of visually challenged too. The latest facilities, new equipments and machines must open the doors of success and progress for them. It is our responsibility to bring them in the main stream society and encourage them to live a normal life. It is indeed a herculean task but not impossible. It is a humble request to one and all to come forward to educate and rehabilitate the visually challenged. It is an appeal by the visually challenged – to treat them equally and accept them in society and if required build confidence in them to face the challenges of life.
You can render your help to the Institute by monetary donations, giving useful educational material and things used in day to day life. The donations are exempted from Income tax, as the institute has been granted 80 G certificate from the department.There are major projects and greater challenges before the Institute which can be indeed accomplished by the indomitable support and selfless help of the society.
Join us in this noble cause of Enlightening Lives…..