NIVH – The National Institute of Visually handicap
NIVH is the autonomous institution under MSJE which deals with the concerns of blind people. On a recent trip to Dehradoon, yesterday we visited this grand institution. We reached in the morning around 6:30 am. Two cute and untroubling dogs along with security guard welcomed us at the campus’s main gate. Weather was serene and silence was all around. We headed ahead towards residential complex and heard 3 men gossiping, listening FM and chewing tobacco nearby boys’ hostel. They were employees perhaps. We asked them where M.Ed students reside? One said go ahead and turn right after 50meters. We followed his directions and reached the desired venue. We went upstairs met with the students and our queries were substantiated by the residents.
Hostel facts: irrespective of age and education, one can’t have more than 4 chapaties in lunch. The quality of cooked food is less than ordinary. And kupon cost for an outsider: Rs 50 per day. One can’t go outside after 8 pm. Girls and boys are not allowed to meet beyond classes. 5:30 to 7 pm is the time one could go outside the premises.
Addministrative complex: as one approaches Main Helen Keller Bhawan, one is informed by repeated audio announcement at the entrance, its Helen Keller Bhawan. This huge building has several offices including Director’s one and account section, audio library and library for print-abled people. One could find half-raised tactile pathways here and there on the campus. Apart from Helen Keler Bhawan, no other building has wi-fi however students are not provided user-ids and password to access internet inside the building. I wonder why this apex body doesn’t provide internet access to B.Ed and M.Ed students at least.
NIVH also runs a community FM station. Apart from Programme promoting classical music, it regularly airs textbooks lessons for the students. NIVH also brings out Braille magazine ‘Braille Dhara’. It also monthly reproduce two well-known magazines ‘Chronicle’ and Pratiyogita Darpan in audio. However students informed these magazines are not dispatched timely to the subscribers. Students also informed us that the behavior of the officials are very rude on campus. They unnecessarily impose too many restrictions on the movement of the students. NIVH needs to abreast the technology and function along with the time. If blind students are to reap any benefit of technology and modern resources, the institution such as NIVH needs upgradation in its functioning. Otherwise, blind students will not be able to catch up in higher education with other non-disabled students.