“I was not visually impaired by birth. I suffered a typhoid attack at the age of three. That was when I became visually impaired. I still remember my parents’ face. I was sent to Ramana Maharshi Academy for the Blind as my parents were depressed with my condition,” narrated A Srinivas, an English teacher at The Karnataka Welfare Association for the Blind located in Sheshadripuram.
He went on to pursue a diploma in horticulture, Bachelors of Arts and then completed a training course in diploma for the blind. In 1997, he trained visually children at Ramana Maharshi Academy of Blind in J P Nagar and also taught techniques of planting saplings.
“Today, my parents are proud of me,” he said with a smile. He is happily married to Shilpa Shri, a carnatic classical musician and blessed with a child.
Besides, he has also participated in State Level Cricket tournaments and South Zone Level Chess competition. He has also won a gold medal for Japanese Ikebena, an art of flower arrangement, in Chennai. Speaking about the training for the competition, he said, “An NGO had organised an Ikebena training course in Lalbagh about two decades ago. Priya Ranganath, our trainer was disappointed with us initially as we could not visualise what she was explaining. As she started explaining more about the art, we performed better day by day. She encouraged us at every step and was the first one to pat our backs when we won the gold medal.”
Society has not discriminated against him but instead has helped him come up in life at every step, he said. His professional life has also given him satisfaction and encouragement to achieve more.
Despite his success in his career and achievements in various extracurricular fields, he is still dependent on others for simple chores. “Today, I seek help to cross roads and climb the stairs. I am proud that I am independent in other spheres,” he said. “S Parashiva Murthy, general secretary of this organisation not only gives us a platform to exhibit our talent but has also given a new lease of life to many children who are visually impaired. This inspires us to achieve more,” he added.