Visually-impaired man establishes school for blind in Andhra
When Batchala Siva Kumar Reddy lost his vision at the age of five, his determination to continue education remained unflinched.
NELLORE: When Batchala Siva Kumar Reddy lost his vision at the age of five, his determination to continue education remained unflinched. Not just that, he also established his institute to help other visually impaired children with studies.
Now 41, Kumar belongs to Kurugonda village in Ozili mandal in the erstwhile Nellore district, now in Tirupati district. He has been working as a deputy manager with the State Bank of India.Kumar lost his vision after he fell severely ill at the age of five. Despite the physical constraints, he completed his education and even went on to pursue a Ph.D.
He says his parents, Batchala Subba Reddy and Sudarshanamma, encouraged him to continue his studies when no one else did.Living up to his parents’ expectations, Kumar completed his schooling in Venkatagiri, Intermediate and Degree from SV Arts College in Tirupati.
He pursued MA in English, Diploma in Human Rights, Business Management and Mass Communications from the Institute of English & Foreign Languages in Hyderabad. He also completed his Ph.D from Hyderabad Central University. Kumar’s perseverance won him the ARF Fellowship and he became the first visually-impaired fellow in the Mass Communication stream.
He used the money he received from the fellowship to establish and run his own school for blind children.
“Many people discouraged me at several stages. I faced a lot of struggles until I landed a job. After they saw me achieve my goals in life, at least some of them started motivating me. Now, I am at a stage to support others who are in need,” Siva Kumar said.
His family, especially his brother B Narayana Reddy, helped him rent a building in Nellore and establish a residential school, Dr Siva’s Blind School, in 2008. Kumar has been providing free accommodation, food and education to students.
Around 40 visually-impaired students have benefitted from the school and currently over 10 students are residing here. Children, till Class V, are taught in the institute itself and for higher education, they are enrolled into private schools that prioritise students with special needs.Kumar has been contributing his entire salary for running his school.
Whenever he is busy, his brother Narayana takes charge. And when Kumar finds time, he likes to spend it with the children and teach them.“Siva anna is my inspiration and he helped me complete B.Com. I built my confidence after listening to him talk about goals and success. I secured a job as an administrative officer at LIC and currently earn `80,000 per month. I am not capable of taking care of my family,” B Suresh, a resident of Udayagiri mandal, said.
40 VISUALLY-IMPAIRED BENEFITTED, SO FAR
Around 40 visually-impaired students have benefitted from the school and currently over 10 students are residing here. Children till Class V are taught in the institute itself and for higher education, they are enrolled into private schools that prioritise students with special needs. Siva Kumar has been contributing his entire salary for his school