| Mohammed Gulam Akbar at the convocation. Picture by Nagendra Kumar Singh |
The convocation at Patna University (PU) reflected the indomitable human spirit.
Vijay Kumar (34), a visually challenged student, received his degree at the function. Hailing from Barh in Patna, where he teaches in an elementary school, Vijay has done his PhD in history under Bharti S. Kumar. His thesis paper has been titled “Indian history and changing features of Bhojpuri language”.
Vijay told The Telegraph: “When I decided to do my PhD, no teacher was ready to be my guide as guiding a visually impaired person in completing the thesis was not an easy task.”
Finally, Bharti agreed to guide Vijay but that was not the end of his problems. There were hardly any Braille books available on Vijay’s PhD topic.
Undeterred, Vijay started audio recording the text material read by someone else on a tape recorder. After hearing the recorded material, Vijay used to write down the text in Braille script.
Misam Zaidi, a gold medallist in Persian and his friend Mohammed Gulam Akbar, who ranked second, completed their post-graduation, despite being in their mid-forties.
Akbar, a maulvi at a mosque in Patna, said: “It was a double burden for me, to do my work as a maulvi and complete my studies. If one has will, anything is achievable.”