Students of the Nethra Vidyalaya- founded by His Holiness Sri Sri Sri Tridandi Chinna Srimannarayana Ramanuja Jeeyar Swamiji, – are making waves across the country claiming many firsts! In August last year, the students pursuing education in Nethra Vidyalaya, Shamshabad, took part in the NCC parade on the occasion of Independence Day (August 15, 2018). The readers might ask, what’s the Big deal? These students are no ordinary children. They are visually challenged / blind students. The parade was led by, Commandant Ms. Y Anjamma, herself a visually- challenged girl, studying degree first year. Smt. P. Krishna Kumari, Coordinator, of Nethra Vidyalaya, says that HH Chinna Jeeyar Swami, who took the salute, was very impressed with this initiative and praised the team. She added that, encouraged by the results they also took part in the 70th National NCC Day Parade and awed everyone with their synchronized walking routine. They performed the arduous task under the guidance of PET Master G Shiva, and executed it in an excellent way, as done by normal students. The students gained a lot of confidence through practice and it meant a lot to them to be able to showcase their potential before the world.
Smt. Krishna Kumari added that they shared the video, with the Prime Minister’s Office and on YouTube which got rave reviews. As per the information provided by the organizers, the feat was taken note by the Guinness World Records team who saw the video and contacted them for more details on how it was conducted.
After receiving the appreciation from the Prime Minister’s office, they approached the authorities of the Government of Telangana State. As the in charge of this year’s parade, Commandant of College of Air War Fare Air Vice Marshall S K Jha accorded permission to the students, the Joint Commissioner, GAD, Telangana, Shri Arvinder Singh I.A.S, with the approval of Chief Secretary, Telangana, Shri Shailender Kumar Joshi I.A.S. gave the nod to participate in Republic Day Parade 2019. Hoping that the permissions would be received, the visually challenged students first practiced for close to 20 days in their college campus and then from 16th to 24th January at Parade grounds before finally participating on the 26th January,2019 on the republic Day in Secunderabad.
To the astonishment of the Chief Guest, H E Shri ESL Narasimhan, Governor of Telangana, the dignitaries and the public at large who had come to witness the Parade, the visually challenged students completed the march past to the perfection. They achieved the feat in the parade along with the Indian Armed forces, Police force and NCC Cadets. They received appreciation and won the Trophy for the performance.
Nethra Vidyalayas comprises a School, Junior college and a Degree college. The Blind students are provided schooling, boarding, lodging, uniforms, and study materials free of charge. While the school is located in Visakhapatnam, Intermediate and Degree Colleges are located in Shamshabad ashram. The school was founded in 2001 by Chinna Jeeyar Swamy Ji.
The methodology of teaching at Nethra Vidyalaya is a mix of tradition and modern technology. As per Smt. P. Krishna Kumari, all the students in Degree and Junior Colleges have been provided a laptop for the studies. Apart from the regular academic sessions, the students also recite Shlokas and learn Yoga. In Nethra Vidyalaya, the blind students study under the Braille system till 10th class, but switchover to study on laptops once they join intermediate & graduation courses. She further adds that, Nethra Vidyalaya is the only institution in India where blind students pursue education using laptops. They use laptops using, JAWS- Job Access With Speech- which is the world’s most popular screen reader, developed for computer users whose vision loss prevents them from seeing screen content or navigating with a mouse. A special permission has been given by the Osmania University for the examination centre to Nethra Vidyalaya to facilitate the blind students to write the exams without facing trouble.
The saying: “Self Confidence is greater than any deficiency in the body” was proved correct by the visually challenged students and they participated successfully in the prestigious Republic Day Parade with confidence. This entire initiative was led by Smt. P. Krishna Kumari, Coordinator of Nethra Vidyalayas, Vikasa Tarangini Central Committee, under the guidance of Sri Swamiji. She was supported by Smt. Neena Nanda, Retd. Principal of Army School.
“Their fingers have eyes. Their ears have vision. Their hearts have courage. Their lives are full of zeal. They are deprived of physical vision. Yet their inner vision is fair and realistic – says Sri Swamiji.
It is an historical event that for the first time the Visually Challenged Students took part in the Republic Day Parade 2019, in Secunderabad at the prestigious Parade grounds, with the blessings of Nethra Vidyalaya founder H H Chinna Jeeyar Swamiji. He runs the Nethra Vidyalayas under the auspices of the Jeeyar Educational Trust. Some of the notable institutions apart from Nethra Vidyalayas under his organization are: Vedic Schools, Jeeyar Gurukulams for the Tribal children, Asramas etc. through which he is providing service to the society in a big way. The services have been well supported by the public. The activities have been well appreciated by the state and the central governments.
The next task that these students look forward to is to put to test their skills at the Republic day Parade at the national capital. We wish them well to fulfill their wish and all the success in their lives!
H H Chinna Srimannarayana Ramanuja Jeeyar Swamiji born on Diwali day in 1956, the Festival of Lights belongs to highly revered lineage of monks of Saint Ramanujacharya and propagates Sri Vaishnavism. He was initiated into Sanyasa (monkhood) at the age of 23 and since then he relentlessly strives hard to promote world peace and harmony through propagation of Vedic wisdom, spiritual practices, religious tolerance, non-violence and mutual respect for all living beings.
He started these organizations by name:
JET – Jeeyar Educational Trust;
VT – Vikasa Tarangini (VT);
JIVA – Jeeyar Integrated Vedic Academy,
JIMS- Jeeyar Integrative Medical Sciences
through which he supports and serves religious, cultural, traditional and social needs
Chinna Jeeyar as he is popularly known propagates his whole vision in two main sutras (principles):
– ‘’Worship your own Respect All”
– “Serve all beings as Service to God”.