Fund for the building at IAB sponsored by non-resident Indians in Hong Kong

A very modern building completed with splendid architectural excellence for the visually impaired school children of Indian Association for Blind (IAB) was inaugurated here at Indian Association for Blind campus at Sundararajanpatti, in Madurai on Saturday.

Founder and Principal of IAB Higher Secondary School S.M.A. Jinnah inaugurated the building in the presence of M. Narendra, Chairman and Managing Director, Indian Overseas Bank, M. Arunachalam, Chairman, Indian Chamber of Commerce, Hong Kong and C. Ramasubramniam, president, IAB.

A Non-Residential Indian association, Help the Blind Foundation from Hong Kong gave shape to the dreams of IAB after they came forward and sponsored the construction of this building. D.K.Patel and Niti Patel along with a host of other NRIs chose IAB considering its work over the years and sponsored the project.

Speaking to The Hindu, D.K.Patel of Help the Blind Foundation, said that this was the second school, the foundation was sponsoring. Earlier they had sponsored a new building at the St.Louis School for the Deaf and Blind in Gandhinagar, Chennai, which was awaiting a new building as the old one was in a dilapidated condition.

The fund for this new building at IAB was sponsored by the Non Resident Indians living in Hong Kong and the Patel family contributed 40 per cent of the amount.

Mr. Patel said that he started the Foundation with a prime objective of helping the visually impaired students enter higher education. Till now his foundation has sponsored around 100 students and many have entered colleges and universities to cherish their dreams. Twenty five students have already become graduates and in Madurai alone 59 students, sponsored by the foundation, are pursuing their education in the city’s top colleges.

The point to note is that the foundation irrespective of the “question of merit” is sponsoring all the visually challenged students as the motive is to help every visually challenged person enter the portals of education.

When asked about what made him choose blind schools in Tamil Nadu, he said that these two are reliable institutions with a long experience, past record and are run by committed people and that was the criteria.

Ram Kumar, Assistant Professor and Head, Department of English, Kasturba Government College for Women, is a visually impaired person who completed his higher education after the foundation supported him. While sharing his experiences, he said that Patel was one of the rarest philanthropists who always extended a helping hand for the cause of the visually challenged.

He has also sponsored the much-needed assistance devices for the visually impaired for higher education like net book and daisy player.

Speaking at the inaugural event, Mr. Narendra said, “material wealth is not a sign of a successful man, on the other hand lending a helping hand to the deprived sections of society indicates your greatness and your success in life.”

P. Namperumalsamy, Chairman Emeritus, Aravind Eye Hospital honoured the teachers and students of IAB for achieving hundred per cent results in the board examinations. Architect Vidya Chander was honoured on the occasion. A Compact Disc on IAB’s journey was also released. Students of IAB displayed their martial art skills and showcased their talent in dance and music through cultural performances.

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