A teacher distributing books among visually impaired students at school. – TNN

By Saba Bangash

PESHAWAR, 12 June: On the report of TNN about problems in the Government School for Blinds, a Pakistani expatriate student in Germany has come forward to resolve problems of the school.

Irfan, a teacher of the school situated in Nishtarabad area of Peshawar, told TNN that a person named Saad Idrees first  sent Rs 7,0000 and then Rs 3,0000 for purchase of necessary books and other items. He said Saad has also promised to extend more assistance in future. He said special books, slates and other items have been purchased with the money for visually impaired students at the school.

TNN reporter Saba Bangash interviewing Irfan Durrani, a teacher of blind school in Peshawar .

“The money received after a TNN report was published on the needs of specific books, stationery, frames and digits for visually impaired students of the school. The government did not allow the students in the past to take these books and other items home. But after the TNN report, now these children have been allowed to take books to their homes during vacations,” Irfan said.

Intekhab Alam and Salman, two students at the school who received slates and digits, told TNN that they were facing difficulties with their old books, but now their problem has been resolved with the purchase of new books.

“I am a student of 5th class here. The government ignored our needs but due to the efforts of TNN we have got books and other equipment which will help us a lot in our studies. Now we have all the equipment for study including books, slates and stationery, said Intekhab.

Salman is also a 5th Class student at the school. “The visually impaired students came from poor families and they could not afford to buy books for them. The provision of new books will greatly benefit the students,” he said.

Saba Bangash interviewing a student at blind school Peshawar.

Through an email interview, Saad Idress, who is pursuing his PhD in Visual Neuroscience in Germany, told TNN that he is planning to provide books and sticks to all the students of the school by September. He said he is also seeking help from his friends for extension of the school.

He revealed that he came to know about the problems of the school through a relative who learnt about it through TNN.

When asked why he wants to help the visually impaired children, he said it is not just about blind students. “It’s about education in general. Children have a lot of potential – it is up to us to shape these children in a positive way. If they are let out on the streets, they can easily fall into wrong hands and their potential might be used in a negative way. I believe that educating our youth is key to a more prosperous society. People with disabilities can either become a burden on our society, or become part of the society if fully integrated. Again it is up to us which path we take. We can either pay for their welfare and care or we can give them an opportunity to learn and contribute towards the society. I believe in the latter,” he said.

He asked the government to provide all the resources to such schools. Saad who raised funds for the school with the help of friend and relatives, said it was not difficult to motivate friends for the noble cause as people are very generous and are always looking for a platform through which they can contribute and donate money. “I’m sure that after this initial phase, more people will come forward to support the school,” he said.