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Saturday, 13 September 2014
Blind professor arms himself with Ph.D in commerce : Coimbatore
“It took me 17 years to complete my Ph.D,” said R. Manikandan a professor at N.G.M. College, Pollachi. Being the first visually challenged person in the country to obtain a doctorate in Commerce, Manikandan was denied admission by a reputed college in Coimbatore several years ago.
R.Manikandan, first visually challenged person in the country to obtain a doctorate in Commerce has students in rapt attention in Pollachi
His greatest source of inspiration has been his parents. Born partially blind, he lost his sight completely when a surgery went wrong when he was as young a 15 years old. It took two years for him to come out of the shock until his friends helped him meet another visually challenged teacher, M. Chandran, who inspired him to get back to school.
Manikandan then joined Ramakrishna Mission Vidyalaya at Perianaickanpalayam where he completed his schooling. With a clear vision in his mind, Manikandan pursued B.Com, M.Com, M.Phil, B.Ed before doing his doctorate.
While Manikandan was denied admission to a reputed college in Coimbatore, he took up the task of doing something that no visually challenged person in the country had ever done before; he started teaching accountancy to students at N.G.M. College in Pollachi. “I am fortunate to have good students who are very friendly,” he added. Manoj has a 5-year-old son and his wife is a schoolteacher.
“I faced several challenges throughout my life: no government institution was ready to recruit me because of my disability. I would like to thank Prof Benjamin Christopher of Bharathiar University, who has been instrumental in me getting the Ph.D.” said Manikandan. “It’s very hard for someone who is visually challenged to teach accountancy but I have proved one can,” he added.
Manikandan loves to read books. He is presently reading with the help of a software called JAWS (Job Access with Speech), a screen reading software. Before the software was introduced, Manikandan used Braille to read and write. An ardent fan of Ilayaraja and singer Yesudas, he loves to listen to TV programmes during leisure time.
The professor is an inspiration to many youngsters. His mantra is that with hard work, sincerity and punctuality, one can achieve anything.