To update his knowledge, Mr Kiran Kumar asked his students to read out books which he recorded and listened to it later.

His graduation was a race against time. Kiran Kumar, then 20, knew his eyes would fail him. He was born with bilateral retinitis pigmentosa, a genetic condition that caused retinal degeneration.

“It was with great difficulty that I wrote the final exam,” said Mr. Kumar, who graduated in commerce from Vijaya College, Mulky, in 1986.

After that the young man from Padupanambur, near Mulky, approached many doctors. “All threw up their hands,” he said. There was no treatment or cure.

A feisty Kumar never let that cow him down. Instead of being in the dark, he decided to impart knowledge to students. Mr. Kumar gave free tuitions to school and college students at his home. He taught accounting, costing, finance management, and income tax. On an average, he has 60 students every year. This year, he has one MBA student and one M.Com student too.

At 47, Mr. Kumar does not use a blackboard to teach. “I have to make students understand the matter without a blackboard,” he said. And the students have this to say. “There is lot of difference in what I learn in the college and here. I passed the accountancy examination with distinction last year,” said Manohar, a final year pre-university student of a college in Attavar. He attended Mr. Kumar’s classes on Sundays and holidays.

Deepak, who graduated in Commerce from Government First Grade College, Haleyangady, three years ago, said that when he was in the final year he had to clear nine pending subjects from first year and second year. Mr. Deepak said that he cleared 15 subjects in the final year and said he owed the success to the free tuition from Mr. Kumar. He said Mr. Kumar and his mother also gave food to his students. Mr. Kumar said so far he has taught between 300 and 400 students.

Mr. Kumar said to update his knowledge, he asked his students to read out books which he recorded and listened to it later. He said he managed to read and write till 32 years. It was only after that he started recording.

“Now I have only 10 per cent of the vision left. I can see that you are standing close to me. But I cannot recognise how you look,” he told this journalist, his eyes looking very normal.

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