Hyderabad: Even as other government institutions gain a modern and corporate look, the city’s first school and hostel for the visually challenged located in the old city presents a rather ignored and dilapidated look.
During the erstwhile Nizam era a need for special school for the visually and hearing challenged was felt. Hence a special school for the deaf and blind had come up at a land parcel at Nalgonda cross roads.
The school, in 1961, was bifurcated into two separate schools for deaf and for the blind. A new school special school for the blind was carved out and housed at Basant Haveli in Devan Dewdi. Some years later it was moved to its present location at Darulshifa.
While a spacious triple storied building was constructed for the school recently and is equipped with a computer lab and well furnished classrooms, it is a contrary scene at the hostel.
A handful of rooms constructed several decades back form the hostel campus. The boarders at the hostel are allotted accommodation class wise with those from I to IV class huddled in one room while those from 5th and above share their rooms with their classmates.
The asbestos roof and the mortar ceiling have nearly crumbled resulting in water leaking into the dormitories. Around 90 boarders stay in the hostel premises. “It is a big problem when it rains. In the dead of the night we rush the visually impaired children into other rooms,” says a staff member on condition of anonymity.
The condition of the walls is no better. “Bandicoots and rats have a free run in the rooms and made big burrows running across great length of the walls. Imagine, if a wall caves in,” says a boarder not willing to be identified. It is no different scene at the toilets and bathrooms.
When contacted, S V Rama, warden of the hostel said that they have written to the higher officials informing them in detail about the problems and a positive reply in awaited.
Students of this school are good at sports too. In last four years the students had participated in several national and international judo championships and won prizes.
A city based organization, Telangana Blind and Para Judo Association trains the students in Judo. In 2013, for the first time the students had participated in National Blind and Deaf Championship and won 19 medals.
“Students had also participated in international championships and won medals. They had gone to Hungary to participate in an event,” said M. A. Azeem, secretary of the association.