Sunil Francis and Jiji Varghese | Photo: Mathrubhumi
Kochi: “We teach everything to our students through the sense of touch. Our lives turn meaningful when these students start seeing the world without their eyes,” says Jiji with a gleaming smile.
Sunil Francis and Jiji Varghese are married couple teaching at the School For The Blind in Keezhmadu in Aluva. They have been teaching at the school for 27 years and started staying with the students at the school around six years back. Jiji, who lost vision in one eye, works for the betterment of students, oblivious of her own needs.
Mala Kuzhoor native Sunil and Kalady Mattoor native Jiji met while pursuing Diploma in Special Education (VI) after completing the TTC course.
“We want to make visually impaired students capable in all ways to learn, grow and succeed. We teach them using Braille script and audiobooks. In 2019, three students earned the Kerala USS Scholarship. This year, two students have appeared for the exam,” says Jiji.
Jiji too learned swimming while instructing students how to swim. It was a matter of awe for many as Jiji and several visually impaired children swam across the Periyar river.
Sunil goes to houses of visually impaired students in Kerala whenever he hears about one and brings them to the school.
“Sunil donated his kidney a year back to a stranger. Many asked him why he was doing it but he was happy to have helped in saving a life. Sunil also wishes to donate his eyes after death. The only sadness that grips me is that I won’t be able to do the same,” she adds.