by Jim King
NO! We did not misspell the title of this week’s blog post. This week’s blog post is about a special type of sight – “Goud” Sight. The post is about ChangeU’s newest Champion of Change, Dr. A. Saibaba Goud. While holding numerous titles, this blog post will focus on Dr. Goud as the founder of Devnar School for the Blind in Hyderabad, Telangana State, India.
In March 2016, I had the opportunity to visit with Dr. Goud at Devnar. The opportunity was made possible by my friend Dr. Tulasi Qualixa. Dr. Goud shared a great deal about Devnar, “his” students and the successes of his graduates. During the visit, my team was able to celebrate Holi Day 2016 with the visually impaired students, their teachers and the staff at Devnar. During this event, participants throw, spray, shoot and splash water on each other and then dowse each other with colored powders – over and over. You may question how visually impaired children could participate in such an activity. But I promise you they can – and well!!! Credit Devnar School. Credit Dr. Goud. Words cannot explain the sight of all of us at the end of our time there – nor the impact this activity and our time at Devnar had on each of us. This was one of those once in a lifetime experiences and it makes me proud to share this specific story of our newest Champion of Change!
Most of the content of this blog post is from my visit with Dr. Goud and from information on the website of the foundation that sponsors the school (http://www.devnarfoundationfortheblind.org/) . Some of the content is from information about the school at their Facebook site (https://www.facebook.com/Devnar-school-for-the-blind-171883726194296) . You are strongly encouraged to visit both websites for the most up-to-date information.
Devnar Foundation was established in January, 1991. ‘Devnar’ is a combination of two words: DEV (God) and NAR (Man), highlighting the fact that there is God in every man. If the entire humanity is the family of God, the visually challenged children are special members in it. And so, they should be given every possible opportunity to develop their potentialities and latent talents. Devnar Foundation through Devnar School tries to unleash the incredible capacity of students by giving them values based education, thus enabling them to realize that within them can be found the skill, knowledge and motivation to make something special happen. The Foundation aims to provide opportunities on par with international standards for the visually challenged children in India so that they can be absorbed in the mainstream of society as socially productive individuals.
Devnar School started in 1991 with four students in a rented room. In Devnar School, education, boarding and lodging are absolutely free and any visually challenged child is admitted during any part of the year. The School grew to over 500 students by 2012, has continued to grow and is housed in a three story, technology-enabled building owned by the Foundation. This phenomenal growth of the School is due to the undoubted ability and unflinching enthusiasm of the founder and his wife, the dedicated staff, many philanthropists and donors. Devnar School is now acclaimed as the best institution for the visually challenged in India with the students aspiring to reach lofty heights of achievement, hitherto thought impossible for such children. Many graduates of Devnar School have received Bachelor’s degrees. Some have also earned Master’s degrees. And many, many more have accepted jobs that would have never been possible without the education and personal development they received at Devnar School. Many of these accomplishments may be found on the Foundation’s website (http://www.devnarfoundationfortheblind.org/alumni-vignette/) .
Dr. Goud, the founder, continues to work tirelessly for the development of Devnar School. The infrastructure and equipment are updated constantly. Dr. Goud continually brings in highly capable teachers and staff. And he constantly advocates of behalf of Devnar School and its students.
In addition to being the founder of Devnar School, Dr. Goud is a leading ophthalmologist in India who is also the recipient of the Dr. B.C. Roy National Award in 2004 for his outstanding services in the field of social medical relief. Dr. Goud was the first person in India to be awarded a Ph.D. in Community Ophthalmology. He is a crusader against ‘darkness’ and a champion of Community Ophthalmology.
Dr. Goud’s efforts have been much recognized as evidenced by him being the recipient of the following additional awards:
- President of India National Award for the welfare of people with disabilities 1997
- President of India Award for ‘Best Institution in the Country 2002’
- Rastriya Gaurav Award
- Datta Award
- Mahashabde Award
- Duke of Edinburgh Award
- Drishti Pradatha Award
- Srinivasan Award
- Agarwal Gold Medal
- Vijayashree Award
- Padma Shri Award
- Yudhvir Memorial Award
Dr. Goud is or has been President of ‘Help Us”, an organization for leprosy patients, President of the National Society for Prevention of Blindness (N.S.P.B) and a member of Indian Red Cross Society (A.P.). He has presented papers at national and international conferences, published many articles in English and Telugu in leading newspapers and journals. He has provided educative and informative radio talks and Doordarshan (a leading Indian television network) interviews. And he has also authored three books, one in English and two in Telugu:
1. The Organ of the Sight (in English)
2. Nayanabhiramam (in Telugu vernacular)
3. Meeru-Mee Kanulu (book on eye care for neo-literates in Telugu vernacular)
Even though Dr. Goud has remained very busy in his professional life, his community efforts – especially through Devnar Foundation and Devnar School – continue to receive his special attention and efforts. And Change University is proud to name him a Champion of Change!
NOTE: Readers are strongly encouraged to download the full-color brochure about Devnar at the following link:
Dr. Jim King is the President of Change University. You may read more about him at the bottom of the page at this link:
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