He is the first to do so in State
K.M. Prabhu Monday morning took charge as the principal of Chikkanna Government Arts College, Tiruppur.
He was among a group of people who took charge at various government colleges, but there is a slight twist to his story. He is the first visually impaired person to do so in the State.
Dr. Prabhu, (55), an English Language Teaching expert, had retinitis pigmentosa and his vision deteriorated during his school years. He completely lost sight by the time he finished school. Undeterred, he went on to qualify in English literature from Madras Christian College with flying colours, and then to complete his Ph. D.
He served in Government Arts College, Nandanam, for many years before he was deputed to BPS College, Haryana, to set up language labs for students.
He created six such labs, and says he also managed to get the students to converse fluently in English within six months.
Before taking charge at Tirupur, Dr. Prabhu was Assistant Professor and Head of the Department (in-charge) at Presidency College, Chennai.
He has been technology-savvy right through, starting with the humble tape recorder, then moving on to the computer, and more recently, 3G connectivity on his mobile phone, using them all as enabling devices. Of course, he has received support from colleagues, his family and friends.
“I would like to thank society at large. Every time we open a newspaper, and see reports of corruption, violence and death, we seem to get a feeling that everything is wrong with society. But, I am a symbol of the benevolence of society. But for society, I would not have been what I am today,” Dr. Prabhu says.
A person's attitude depends on his/her perspective, he says, quoting his favourite lines from Milton's Paradise Lost. ‘The mind is its own place, and in itself; Can make a Heav'n of Hell, a Hell of Heav'n'. He also thanks Chief Minister Jayalalithaa and the government for making things possible, adding to that his hopes that they would facilitate his elevation to Grade 1.
Offering his wishes to Dr. Prabhu, Nethrodaya founder C. Govindakrishnan says it is the first time that a visually impaired person has taken charge as a principal of a government college.