Miscellany

Beacon of hope: Asha Kiran, a home for visually-challenged children in  Chikmagalur, has brought a ray of hope to many children. Asha Kiran: Lighting children’s lives

Manjunath, Nutankumar and J M Shavad will represent India at the 19th International Championship for the Blind to be held there from July 12 to 19. Their trip is being sponsored by the Indian Blind Sports Association (IBSA).

It is, however, not the first time that Asha Kiran inmates are going overseas. Shavad, a 10th standard student in the school run by Asha Kiran, represented India at Antalya in Turkey in April. He won a bronze for the country and the institution in the 400-metre race for the visually challenged.  The trio has been bringing laurels for the institution at several national sports meets. Manjunath has represented Karnataka at the National Games held at Ludhiana, Chandigarh, Bangalore and Amritsar in the 100 and 200-metre races and shot-put.

Asha Kiran was set up by a Hindu-Muslim duo in 1990 and its foundation was laid by Veerendra Heggade of Dharmasthala fame. Social workers J P Krishnegowda and Nasrullah Shariff joined hands in establishing the institution which was operated out of a KHB house for the first three years with four visually challenged children. But the institution could build its own premises on an acre of government land allotted by Deputy Commissioner Thimmegowda who personally donated Rs 50,000 to construct a room in his mother’s name. Several philanthropists came forward later to make similar offers. The Asha Kiran today has a building with 18 rooms, a KG to SSLC school, a computer lab with special voice-based software installed to guide visually challenged children. There are 40 girls among its 102 inmates. 

The institution run by the Karnataka Federation for Blind has earned a reputation for grooming the inmates for sports. The impressive line-up of trophies and medals in its office testifies to the effort in the direction. The campus now sprawls over three acres, more parcels of land coming through subsequent allotments. Located adjacent to the rail park for children, Asha Kiran has brought in hope for several visually challenged children who would have been deprived of all opportunities.

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