His eyes failed him but this tutor from Bihar has a vision!
He is visually impaired, has formally studied up to Class 3 only. Yet, he is knowledgeable enough to give home tuition to students of Class 12.
No matter how you look at him, Niranjan Kumar Jha, 37, stands in a class of his own.
A resident of Sardar Tola, Gulabbagh under Sadar police station, about 6 km from district headquarters town of Purnia, Jha was in Class 3 when he lost both his eyes owing to some disease and could not pursue classroom education any further. But he ensured that was not the end of the road for him so far as education was concerned. So, he persuaded a high school teacher Jitendra Singh to start teaching him physics and mathematics, orally.
“It was he (Singh) who inspired me and gave me a good understanding of physics and mathematics,” Jha said. As there was no facility for Braille learning, I continued to learn by listening,” Niranjan Kumar Jha recalled.
Such was his dedication that he learnt the two subjects well enough to give tuition to 50-odd Class 12 students in a room at the residence of his deceased elder brother where he lives and is looked after by his widowed sister-in-law.
The ‘classroom’ is painted in a burst of vibrant colors. Jha cannot see them but the colorful ambiance does much to lift the mood of his students he has never seen but recognizes each one of them by his/her footsteps.
As Jha goes about teaching the properties of light to his students, he uses words to draw ‘pictures’ that any other teacher would use a blackboard for. Yet, his students say his weave of words is so illustrative, they can easily understand the point he makes.
Alisha Kumari and Sangeeta Kumari, both students of Class 10, said, “Our sir is very good. He is adept at making us understand even the most complicated topics through his words.
Niranjan Kumar Jha earns Rs 1,500 to Rs 2,000 by teaching about 50 students. “I never charge fees from the poor and differently abled students,” he says and proudly adds, “My students are doing better as I teach them with love and affection.”
The teacher and his students unite every morning from 6am to 9am. For the rest of the day, Jha either sits in front of television or listens to radio. “Radio is a very good medium of learning things. I want the local radio station to commence educational programme for teachers,” he said.
“Besides, the government should do something to break the monotony of the people like us who can’t go anywhere on their own,” he added.
He gets just Rs 400 a month under a government scheme for visually impaired people and lives with the family of his elder brother who died about 10 years ago.
“My widow bhabhi is like my mother and she looks after me,” said Jha, a bachelor.
As there is no organisation here to cater to the needs of the visually impaired, they are left at the mercy of their families. “The treatment given to them is not very good as they are often considered as a burden,” Jha rued.
Source: Hindustan Times
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