Pune In a bid to help visually impaired and disabled students, select students from Sir Parashurambhau College, also known as S P College, have formed a group called Divya Zhep. The group members conduct a number of activities throughout the year, right from providing them writer during the exams.
“It all started three years back with seven students from the arts department. We wanted to give the visually impaired and disabled students equal chance in all activities happening in the college. So, we formed the group called Divya Zhep. The aim behind forming this group was not to offer sympathy or help to them, but to learn from them as they have a huge potential,” said professor Yogita Kale from arts department, founder of the group.
Giving details about the activities undertaken by the group, Vishal Dole, a postgraduate student and one of the founding members said, “We are all students here at the college. When we realised that our visually impaired and disabled friends are extremely talented but do not get equal opportunities, we decided to do something for them. Initially, we started arranging writers for them during examinations. We also started a library for them where our volunteers would read out books for them and also do the recordings for them. The library also has reading and listening machines, computers and Braille books”
Dole went on to explain as to how exclusive trips were arranged to various forts around Pune for the visually impaired and disabled students. “ It is difficult to climb Sinhagad or Raigad, but these students climbed it easily. Every year, we host a cultural event called Urmi and these students participate in the drama and dance shows. Last year, one of the visually challenged girl student anchored the programme. Also, these students perform street plays on various social issues like road safety,” he said.
Dole said that there are 60 visually challenged and 15 disabled students from Class 11 to postgraduation in SP College.
Krishna Jangid, a visually challenged and second year Bachelor of Arts student said, “I have never danced or trekked before in my life, but now I am enjoying my college days and it is all because of my friends at Divya Zhep. They are always there to help us out and build our confidence that we can do things like any other student.” Another visually challenge student Rupali Ugale from Class 11 said, “Last year, I performed in the cultural event in our college. It was such an amazing experience that changed my life. This group has become family for me as I stay in a hostel away from my home.”