The teacher and taught who ‘saw’ merit in moving ahead
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Among those who received degrees during the annual convocation of the Panjab University on Sunday, there were two awardees who stood out. A teacher and a student, the two got the maximum applause.
Kiran, 41, was accompanied by her husband on stage to receive her doctorate degree. Her husband, Rajinder Singh, held her hand not only through the stairs due to her visual impairment but also throughout her studies.
Kiran, who is 100 per cent visually impaired, has completed her PhD on "rehabilitation of the visually impaired". "I have been visually impaired since 1992 after I suffered from brain fever. I was a student of bachelors in nursing then. It took me three years to accept my impairment. Thereafter, I started studying again," she told Chandigarh Newsline.
With a zeal to make a difference to the lives of the other visually impaired, she worked as a teacher at the Institute for Blind, Sector 26, after she completed her Bachelors in Arts and Masters from Panjab University. She cleared the UGC's National Eligibility Test (NET) for lectureship in 2005. At present, she is an associate professor at the Punjabi University, Patiala, where she teaches with the help of a computer and sound softwares.
"My guide, Dr Madhurima Verma, my parents and my husband have been my source of encouragement," she said.
While teaching at the Institute for Blind, Sector 26, Kiran became an inspiration for Kirti Agnihotri, 23, who received a gold medal for completing her Masters in Vocal Music. "My teacher (Kiran) is an inspiration for me. When she used to teach me, I felt that I have to be like her," said Kirti.
Kirti, who is enrolled in MPhil in vocal music, was accompanied by her father. Hailing from Hoshiarpur, she lives in the University Hostel Number 7 all by herself. "I have learnt the ways by counting the steps. I manage on my own in the hostel and my parents keep visiting me."
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