Residing in the small village of Amlidih in Chhattisgarh’s Raigarh district, farmer Barun Kumar Pradhan is an inspiration for us all. This 56-year-old good samaritan runs the free-of-cost Netrahin Bal Vidya Mandir, which has helped improve the lives of around 30 visually challenged children. The institution began as a result of his desire to help visually impaired children, like his nephew.
The school runs till class 6, and provides quality education, vocational and sports training to the children. It also provides free residence to its students, who are mostly from poverty stricken households.
Photo source: helpblindchildren
“I don’t want any blind children to beg on the streets and get exploited. I want to make them self-reliant and have a bright future,” Pradhan said to TOI.
Pradhan’s faculty also consists of the visually impaired- five of his teachers, including a blind couple (Jaidev Sahu and Kiran Sahu) are blind. His 19-year-old daughter Himani also helps in running the school, and plays the role of headmistress.
“NBVM educates the children through Braille and also helps them develop various life skills that can make them self-dependent,” said Himani.
Since its inauguration in 2014, the school has attracted a lot of attention from in and around the region. School enrollment is set to almost double in the coming academic year.
Several like-minded individuals have also come forward to provide support to the school, which runs without any government aid.
The students of the school are now hopeful of a bright future for themselves, with several wanting to educate other children like them when they become adults.