Updated: Mar 9
Jan 22, 2020: VT Seva congratulates Gopalachari K and Ravindra Vangapandu who represented Andhra Padesh at the IndusInd Nagesh T20 National Cricket Tournament for the Blind held on January 22, 2020 at Chinnasamy Stadium at Bengaluru.
Both Gopi and Ravindra are alumni of Schools for Visually Challenged supported by VT Seva. They both moved from regular schools to Schools for Visually Challenged as their vision deteriorated in childhood. The schools for Visually Challenged not only provided them with education specially designed for the Visually Challenged, but also proud to sponsor their education, sports, food and boarding for the past decade. The teachers and staff encouraged them in extra curricular activities including Cricket. Gopi and Ravindra both developed a great interest for the sport and were highly encouraged by Sri Swamiji and the Teachers to pursue their dreams. They started playing at several local and district level Cricket tournaments. Their perseverance and passion for the sport coupled with the encouragement and financial support from VT Seva helped them find an opportunity to play with Andhra Pradesh Team at National level, and made them champions today.
The Tournament was conducted by Cricket Association for the Blind in India. Cricket for Blind [C4B] is a version of the sport of cricket adapted for blind and partially sighted players.
Gopi and Ravindra expressed their heartfelt gratitude to VT Seva for helping by sponsoring and providing financial assistance to pursue their dream of playing professional cricket and also represent India at International level. Let us wish them all the very best in their endeavors.
In Gop'is words:
"I am K. Gopalachari. I have completed graduation in B. COM ( Computers ) in Nethra Vidyalaya Degree College (Schools for Visually challenged) supported by VT Seva."
I lost my eye sight in the early years of childhood in an accident while playing with my sisters. My father is a daily laborer and my mother is a home maker and we belong to under developed area in Rayalaseema.
After losing my vision I continued studying in regular school. It was very difficult for me to follow the lessons and understand due to my eye condition. With the help of my friends and teachers, I have completed my 10th class with difficulty.
After passing my 10th grade, my vision gradually started fading, I lost my hope for further studies. But suddenly I got hope and optimism after knowing about the Junior College for Visually Challenged (Nethra Vidyalaya) from one of my relatives. I have joined the college in 2012 for studying Intermediate level education. There I have learned many things like Spoken English, Operating the computers, chanting slokas, playing games. I still remember the special classes conducted by VT Seva CEO and Netra Vidyalaya Visionary Sri Chinna Jeeyar Swamiji, through which I learned many morals and ethics. Subsequently I have improved my playing skills specially in Cricket. Teachers at the college encouraged me to learn various things.
At the college for Visually challenged, I have appeared for exams by using laptop, which gave me the utmost satisfaction and self confidence - previously I used to write my exams with the help of scribe. Writing exams on laptops is one of the unique thing in Nethra Vidyalayam and first of its kind in India. This makes me independent and confident. In Netra Vidyalayam we have been provided with free laptop, free education and free accommodation. In 2014 I have completed Intermediate in CEC and I secured more than 85%. Then I have continued my graduation in Netra Vidyalaya Degree college. During my graduation days my focus was mainly playing cricket for my country.
This wish paved me to focus more on cricket, at this critical juncture, Swamiji and my teachers gave ultimate encouragement and propelled me for playing at various levels including local, state and zonal competitions. With the blessings of Sri Chinna Jeeyar Swamiji, I performed well at various tournaments. Then I have been selected for the National Blind Team from the state of Andhra Pradesh as all rounder for my best performance. Indian Blind Cricket team captain Mr. Ajay Kumar and other prominent players in the team encouraged me to play for the National team.
In this way Nethra Vidyalaya has given me good career in cricket. Nethra Vidyalaya is helping by sponsoring and providing financial assistance to pursue my profession as a cricketer.
I have completed my graduation in the year 2017 and I secured 86%. After graduation I have joined as a Computer operator in Sri Chaitanya Junior College, Vijayawada to support my family financially. Now I got another opportunity to play for Ranji matches at domestic level. I am playing Ranji matches with the help of Baby madam and Madhuri Madam. I am grateful and thankful to Sri Chinna Jeeyar Swamiji for the support and cooperation in the form of education provided through School for Visually Challenged. Now I have a goal to play first class and International cricket for the blind on behalf of my mother land (India).
Till today and days to come, I am indebted to Sri Swamiji as He gave my life a meaning with of his generosity and everlasting blessings, and pushing me forward in my life. I take this opportunity to thank all the teachers and Management of Netra Vidyalayam for making my life worth living and giving new hope in my life. My deepest gratitude to my hope and guiding light - Sri Chinna Jeeyar Swamiji.
In Ravindra's words:
"I joined (Nethra Vidyalaya) School for Visually Challenged in 2009 to continue my studies. I joined 7th class in Nethra Vidyalaya. Before joining this school, while my other friends were able to understand the lessons being taught I used to struggle to learn due to my eye sight. " After seeing my struggle, my father decided to join me in blind school. He came to know about Nethra Vidyalaya from my relatives. After joining in Nethra Vidyalaya, every teacher took care of me and helped in every aspect. Now I am playing for Andhra Pradesh Cricket Team. When I joined in Nethra Vidyalaya, I didn’t know how to play cricket. My teachers encouraged me to play the cricket. Without disturbing my studies I started playing cricket simultaneously. My parents annual income is 55,000/-. It is very difficult to maintain family with that. We are three and I am the younger one. Luckily I got an opportunity to study in School for Visually Challenged (Nethra Vidyalaya). We are very much thankful to Sri Chinna Jeeyar Swamiji for giving us hope to lead a happy life. After joining in Netra Vidyalaya entire staff helped me a lot especially Baby madam. Every student has a dream, with Swamiji’s blessings my dreams are fulfilling.
It is not very easy to be selected in Professional team.
I tried many times and went for selections. In 2019, I got selected in Andhra Pradesh team as an all rounder. Because of my economic status I struggled a lot for going to selection all over India. My 10 years hard work and my teachers encouragement made me finally a successful man. My ambition is to play in International format.
After the completion of my school education, I joined in Nethra Jr. College which is unique in India. After Intermediate I got seat in University of Hyderabad, done my graduation there. Then I got seat in Pondicherry Central University for MBA program.
Every day I say thank you to Sri Swamiji because if he did not establish Nethra Vidyalaya Institute, children like me can’t stand on their own feet and have a financially independent life. Once again thank you Swamiji, Nethra Vidyalaya and Baby madam for helping me till date."