Hyderabad: This year’s International Women’s Day was a day to cherish for 21 women achievers from the State as the Telangana government honoured them in a befitting manner.

One among the chosen lot was Dr. Jyothi Goud, whose Devnar Foundation for Blind, situated near Hyderabad Public School in Begumpet has been rendering yeomen service since 1991, including empowering visually-challenged individuals.

It was in 1991, when Jyothi saw some blind children with their parents in her husband and prominent ophthalmologist Dr. A. Saibaba Goud’s clinic.

On the spur of the moment, she decided and subsequently founded Devnar Foundation for Blind, a school that is winning laurels for the wonderful work it is doing for thousands of families.

Today, the school has 550 students. As Jyothi puts it, “I am not just a mother to my son and daughter, but I proudly say that I am a mother of all these 550 children in our school.”

This Telangana woman is mother to 550 visually-challenged children

According to a March 2019 report of World Health Organization, around 40 million Indians, including 1.6 million children, are visually challenged due to uncorrected refractive error. And it is estimated that only five percent of them receive education.

Devnar residential school not only provides education but also supports students to practice extracurricular activities. After the successful launch of All India chess tournament for the blind in 2001, 13 years later, the school began organizing national cricket tournaments for the blind.

Jyothi says, “Not only from Telangana and Andhra Pradesh but children from all over the country come to study in our school. This is symbolic of the trust the guardians have on our abilities and the care with which we treat the students.” Incidentally, the students are provided free education from Standard 1 to 12. Teachers are provided exclusive training so that they meet the requirements, including teaching adults.

“This is the first school in the world to house so many children, every academic year. All my senior children are now working in banks, government offices and multinational companies,” she points out with a noticeable sense of contentment.

Aiswarya Sriram

Aiswarya Sriram is a budding multimedia journalist and is currently working for NewsMeter as a "Factcheck Freelancer". A graduate from Indian Institute of Journalism and New Media (IIJNM) Bangalore, Aiswarya has earlier worked with The Logical Indian and has interned with Republic TV. Aiswarya, a Tamilian who was born and brought up in Mumbai, loves to do rural reporting. She has visited Byadgi Taluk of Karnataka, to write about the issues faced by chilli factory workers there, earlier in 2019. A craft enthusiast, Aiswarya also does quilling, painting and glass work. On her off-days, she loves to read crime-thrillers and watch anime. She primarily reports on civic issues, GHMC, human-interesting features, and fact-checking video stories.

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