Bengaluru: Disability is not a reason to give up on life, but a weapon one can use to prove that nothing is impossible. Nagashetty, 37, swears by this motto. Born blind in one eye and losing sight in the other when he was 15 years old, the gritty professor is probably the first visually impaired candidate to receive a doctorate from Bangalore University.
A notification on Nagashetty's doctorate was released by the varsity on Thursday. Completing his thesis on the topic 'Intuition in Kuvempu's literary works' ('Kuvempu Kavyagalalli Anthardrishti' in Kannada), from BU's Kannada department, Nagashetty was awarded the doctor of philosophy degree and will be felicitated at the university's convocation in 2018.
Nagashetty's happiness knew no bounds while TOI spoke to him about his achievement. Saying his hard work and patience have finally paid off after nine years, he stated: "It took me six years to get this doctorate. I registered in 2008 and submitted the thesis in 2015. But because the panel was undergoing some changes, I received the doctorate this year."
I learned about Kuvempu's work in school and realized that the prose and poetry have a deep impact on the reader's mindset. I wanted to delve deeper and and took this up as my thesis topic," said Nagashetty, a Kannada professor at Government PU College, JC Nagar. He added: "I got some of my PU students to read the works to a group of people and asked them to write down what they understood. Then I got them converted into braille format for my knowledge," Nagashetty added.
Nagashetty, who lost sight in his second eye in class 9, decided to resume education at Kalaburagi's blind school where he learnt braille. He secured 75% in SSLC exams. "That pushed me to study further," he said.
After completing pre-university education in Gadag, Nagashetty came to Bengaluru to study at Sree Veerendra Patil degree college where he studied history, economics and Kannada. Then he joined Bangalore University to pursue postgraduation in Kannada.
Even though the laborious process of converting braille into conventional text and vice versa took up much of the time while completing the thesis, Nagashetty is determined about compiling SL Bhyrappa's works. "This too may take a long time but I believe it can be achieved," he signed off.