The story of this school began in 1993 with two men working in a textile mill: Rehmanbhai, a Muslim, and Hargovanbhai, a Hindu. A Ram-Rahim jodi (a hindu-muslim union), both blind from birth, both college graduates, a meeting of minds and hearts.
The textile mill closed. Suddenly, they were out of a job.
Without stopping to mope, they saw an opportunity hiding behind adversity. They recognized how fortunate they were to have received an education. They had always been concerned about the blind children in villages of rural India who have no access to education or even basic skill development. Now they had the chance to change this.
They dove into a process of working with the Government to open a Blind School. Their compassion, commitment, and sincerity were so inspiring that organizations like Manav Sadhna and Environment Sanitation Institue (ESI) were moved to be a part of Rehmanbhai and Hargovanbhai’s dream. Together they set up a trust in Ahmedabad The Service Association For The Blinds in 1990. They picked Shri Ishwarbhai Patel as the president of this association, the only sighted person.
They identified a part of Gujarat with a high proportion of blind people and went in person to the villages to recruit children. News of their endeavor spread by word of mouth and soon they had the first generation of students. The Trust found a hut to establish the Blind School in Kolavada village, Gandhinagar district in June 1995, and thus the Blind School was born.
The number since that initial step has grown from just 5 students in 1995 to 58 today (45 boys and 13 girls), studying from Standards 1st to 10th. In 1999, the trust began renting apartments to accomodate the growing student body. The school originated as a primary school facility but expanded to the secondary school level in 2002.
After a eight year struggle operating from a three floor run down apartment, the dreams came true. With the personal interest and support of Smt. Anandiben Patel an empty municipal school in sector 16 in Gandhinagar was alloted for the blind school. The school was repaired and renovated before moving in. A beautiful inauguration event was done on the Christmas day of 2008. Over 600 of Manav Sadhna kids came and participated in the event with lots of dance and music.