India: A blind teacher lighting up lives of children left in dark


DEHRADUN: “Teachers can truly inspire students. A teacher is no less than an angel who gives wings to her pupils and shows them the ways in which to tackle life’s hardships,” said a 66-year-old blind teacher, Snehlata Singh, who works at the Sharp Memorial School for the Blind in the Doon valley. Singh’s words reaffirmed Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s statement, on the occasion of Teachers’ Day, about educators dedicating their lives to nurturing minds and spreading the joys of education. The school, oldest in the country for the visually impaired is tucked away at the farthest end of Rajpur Road. Over the years, it has come to play a vital role in the lives of those it has touched.

Abandoned as a child at the school by her family, Singh decided to make impediments the stepping stones to success. “I only remember that my father dropped me here as a six-year-old here from Almora. No one came back to get me. Over the years, I made the people here my family and decided to get the best possible education and help others like me to rise above their disabilities,” said Singh.
Singh informed that the missionaries from the school had tried looking for her family a couple of times in the past but in vain. During her growing up years, she was inspired by people like Hellen keller, Louis Braille and Anne Sharp. She later attended the teachers’ training course at the Blind Relief Association in Delhi in the 1970s and has been a qualified teacher at the school ever since.

Talking about what held her from losing heart, she said, “Adversities bow down in front of those who work dedicatedly towards achieving their dreams.”
M Samuel, superintendent of the school, said, “Along with Singh, we have many other teachers who have dedicated their lives to bringing light into the lives of the blind children. A teacher truly holds significant power to show the right direction to young minds.”