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National award for role model with disability

toiBANGALORE: Rajdeep Manwani’s Economics classes are famous. There is a little bit of history, conversation and lots of stories seasoned with wit. It is a class that no student would want to miss.

This teacher at Shree Bhagwan Mahaveer Jain College recently won a national award as a role model for empowerment of persons with disabilities.from the President in New Delhi

Almost completely blind, Manwani is indeed a role model who faced life’s challenges and gone on to inspire hundreds of youngsters with his classes and talks.

While in school, Manwani was diagnosed with macular degeneration, a retinal problem that causes a person to lose vision gradually. He did not realize the enormity of the problem till he reached Class VIII when he could not read the question paper during an exam. Almost completely blind by the time he was in Class X, Manwani did, however, manage to maintain an excellent academic record.

“At that time, no blind person took up Economics. They were apprehensive about solving problems. But I realized that if I could cross this hurdle, there would be others who would attempt to do so,” he said.

He worked as a receptionist to provide for his family and completed MCom through correspondence, receiving a gold medal. “I would listen to class notes on my Walkman. Later, when I finished my studies, I had to apply to 17 colleges before I was offered a job at Jain College,” he recalled.

As a child who moved to Bishop Cotton Boy’s School from a Hindi medium school, Manwani had formed the habit of learning two English words every day. When he finally got his dream job, he tried to learn one thing each day. One day, he practiced belly breathing to improve his voice. Another day, he made the librarian read out to him and within a span of one-and-a-half years, he was a teacher students loved.


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