Shri R P Bhola is an outstanding example of what man can achieve despite physical limitations and even do more than normal people can. Afflicted with retina pregmatosa since his childhood, this visual impairment did not, however, present an obstacle to his progress in life. Despite his inability to see, He has not accepted the blindness as a barrier ever in his life.
There are not many resources available for the visually impaired persons inn 1960s for their studies. Soon after his early education from “DCM Jain Higher secondary school” and “Institute for the blind” Amritsar, he graduated from Punjab University in 1968 overcoming a lot of hardship and daily struggles in routine life as well as studies due to the non availability of Braille material. He did his post graduation followed by B.Ed in 1971and 1972 from Kanpur and Punjab university respectively.
If studies presented a challenge that he overcame with success, the tougher part still lay ahead and that was to find a job, a rather difficult thing in India in the 1970s. He tried to get a teacher’s job in a normal school but was heavily discriminated against both by administration and people. He had an extended fight with the Delhi Government and eventually was appointed to the post of a teacher of Political Science in the Directorate of Education in Delhi in 1973. He taught normal students in a normal school, not in a school for the blind. It went against the then current way of thinking that blind people should teach in school for the blind or work in an institution for the blind. It was a significant step forward.
He succeeded due to diligence and hard work and an unfailing commitment to his job. Along the way he was promoted and served for 35 years before retiring as a principal in a senior secondary school under the Directorate of Education, government of NCT of Delhi. He holds the coveted title of being the first blind principal of a senior secondary school in the country.
Since his retirement Shri Bhola involved himself in working for the visually challenged and is a fiery advocate of equal opportunities for the disabled in education and employment. His experience led him to found the Blind Welfare Society and gave his thoughts concrete shape to take his activities forward.
The Blind Welfare Society focuses on education and employment as well as training for the visually challenged to adapt to society and stand tall as proud and independent beings that set an example to normal people.