When he began losing his eyesight at the age of five, K. Sriram was not certain if he could finish his studies. On Friday, when the 37-year-old was awarded a Ph.D in management, he was ecstatic at being given the opportunity to read out the convocation pledge.

“I am humbled by the gesture,” he said. According to IIT-M professors, Sriram is the third visually-challenged student to be awarded a Ph.D by the institute.

The father of two school-going children is an example to many in the institute. Sriram, however, has few complaints about the lack of equal opportunities for people with disabilities in the country. “When you are young, you are idealistic, but as you grow up, you understand the practical difficulties faced by institutions. I try to have a detached view of life,” he said.