Ashwani Angadi, a 30 year old woman, is doing exceptional work to empower underprivileged children with visual impairment through education. She was born with full visual impairment, and to accept her that way was not easy for her family. Her parents did not give up on her, and provided her a life that she deserved. Having to go through the plethora of physical, emotional and social challenges associated with blindness, she realized that a whole bunch of visually impaired children like her are denied the opportunity to study. In order to help these children, Ashwini started a residential school called Belaku Academy in 2016, which provides free education for the visually impaired children from the underprivileged background.
The blind children from poor families are usually considered as a ‘burden’. “Children with visual impairment should study and become independent enough to get a job and earn their living. Hence, I started this school,” she says. The school draws students even from the remotest villages of Karnataka. Ashwani gathers information about these children from gram panchayats. Their families are then approached and informed about the school, where these children can get free education, and strive with other students.
The academy is like any other private residential school in terms of infrastructure and technology. Students are taught to use computers and conduct science experiments. The sports and cultural activities are conducted on a regular basis along with other academic studies. “When I started the school, I dreamt of making it very well equipped. That is why we have a separate science laboratory, a digital library and headphones for every child. This is aligned to their regular studies, braille books, and braille computers” she happily adds. Being visually impaired makes it difficult for these children to learn simple tasks, which is why the academy also focuses on teaching their students necessary life skills like folding and keeping their beds clean. The children are even taken for outings to parks, museums, temples, movies, cultural competitions and even performances at various events.
“Our disability should not become our weakness. Working hard until we reach our goals is the only way to make our dreams come true. People will ultimately see you as a normal person and they will surely accept you and your disability”
At a young age of 23, she achieved many laurels for her social work i.e. educating and empowering the disabled and underprivileged, one of them being the UNITED NATIONS Special Envoy for Global Education’s Youth Courage award for Education, on July 12, 2013.
Today, there are 35 students who stay at the residential school, and Ashwini wants to build a hostel that can accommodate 225 children. The current school is run in a rented building in Bengaluru and can’t cater to the growing number of children who are in need of these facilities.
“Many parents are approaching me to give admission to their children, but I cannot accommodate more students because of the inconvenience of space. That’s why I bought a piece of land, and am planning to get a building constructed where I can accommodate 200 more children. Currently, the construction has been stopped due to lack of funds. Only with your support, we can continue giving a better future to more underprivileged students.”, says Ashwani.
Ashwani has empowered the children who were considered as a burden. She wants to expand her reach and provide opportunities to more such children. To support her vision, please contribute by following the below mentioned details.
Details for direct bank transfer / UPI
UPI: rzpy.givetomlpashwinia001@hdfcbank (Copy to clipboard)
- Virtual account name: Ashwini Angadi Trust – Milaap
- Account number: 2223330079491359
- IFSC code: RATN0VAAPIS
- Bank name: RBL