Smt. Usha Vishwanath

When my husband was undergoing dialysis and knew that his end was near, he wanted me to be more independent and reach out to those less fortunate. He didn’t want me to sit by his bedside and get depressed. He advised me to volunteer and do selfless service. “Do not expect monetary benefit,” he said, “help those who need your set of skills.”

At that time, Mathru School for the Blind had just started and I went to the school with a group of volunteers. We taught the children music, drawing, knitting and read out stories that transported them to another world. After a few years, majority of the volunteers left, but I continued teaching the children at Mathru. I’ve always enjoyed teaching, but teaching children who were blind was quite a challenge. How do you explain what a carrot looks like or its colour, if they’ve never seen one? So I used to take carrots to school and pass them around the classroom – so that they could feel the texture and shape and then I would explain how it is grown, its benefits and so on. To help the children understand and cope better with the syllabus, I learnt Braille. This was very useful and the children were soon able to follow all the lessons.

Mathru School for the Blind holds a special place in my heart. I’ve been associated with the school for the last 12 years and if you ask me what I like best about the school, I’d say “everything.” At first I was impressed with how neat, clean and well designed the school was; then the dedicated founder, Muktha and her team of teachers who were role models; and finally the affectionate and always smiling children. Annually, I invite all the 10th standard students to my house for a farewell lunch and all their favourite dishes are prepared. This is something they really look forward to. In fact, as soon as the term begins, they ask me when I’ll be hosting the lunch for them!

Due to the pandemic, Mathru has been closed for a while. I miss the joyous laughter of the children and their curiosity to learn more. I’m waiting for the school to reopen so that I can be amidst all of them once again!

Sri. Akhil

We are grateful to Mathru Educational Trust for the Blind and other Disabled for the valuable and selfless partnership with Sense India over the past 5 years. Under the able stewardship of Ms. Gubbi R. Muktha, Mathru started its mission of bringing meaning into lives of children with visual impairment and over the years have shown tremendous sensitivity and courage to respond to needs of other disabilities. The addition of children with ‘deafblindness’ through a project supported by APPI and Sense India helped Mathru reach out to about 120 deafblind children and young adults. And it also helped the committed staff and devout management to realise that Mathru needs to open doors for children with Autism, Cerebral palsy and multiple disabilities. I am so glad to see that the management has empowered the executive team to expand its vision to cover vulnerable children in need.

You will be glad to know that with supportive partners like Mathru, Sense India could step up relief during the pandemic and reached out to people with deafblindness and multiple disabilities with emergency support in and around Bengaluru.

Wishing Mathru many many more years of selfless work with children with disabilities.

Sri. Purushotham

It is my pleasure to write a few lines on our institution. Mathru has just completed its 20 years. I am privileged and honoured to be the Associate with Mathru for the past 20 years. Mathru over these period underwent several hurdles in its continuance, has grown to this level as a well known institution. All its success achieved was possible under the leadership of founder, Ms. G. R. Muktha who always paid great attention towards discipline, dedication and quality. education which also follows strict financial discipline. Our institution is blessed with dedicated teaching and non-teaching staff under the leadership of Ms. G. R. Muktha, a true leader who always believes that Success is the result of continuous efforts.

A leader is one who knows the way, goes the way and shows the way. On behalf of Mathru team we assure our institutions work with same motto and dedication

I wish the Institution all success.

Sri. C R Rao

20 years ago, Muktha Gubbi, the founder trustee of Mathru, brought to her modest dwelling 4 girls of the tender age of 4 and 6, born blind, feeble and vulnerable, and became their foster mother. She raised them through their schooling until they grew as young women, defying their blindness, and defying an equally blind world.

A journey that began so modestly today stands as Mathru, a 280-strong school for the children visually impaired, and children afflicted by deafblindness, cerebral palsy and autism. It is a Non-governmental Organisation in Bangalore, which has made itself heard and talked about in several parts of the United States. This would not have become a reality, had Muktha remained in the comforting cocoon of complacency of her well-paying advocate’s profession.

Today, a visit to the pristine building of the school in Yelahanka, Bangalore, equals the visit to a House of God. You get to see children frolicking about in gay abandon, with unseeing eyes, unaware of the light of life. Muktha cheerfully steers them – each a most dear child of some mother, each a making of the same God who also created a Cleopatra or a Sridevi. She guides these special children through life by acts nobler and healthier than the ways of the world – through paths of wonder, not terror.

Sri. Sudha Narashimachar

Since I met Muktha Gubbi the first time in 2003 or 2004, there has not been a moment that I have not admired her passion, simplicity, hard work, grit, perseverance, compassion and total dedication to the service of the needy. I really have my own reservations about certain social activists, who go after name, fame and glamour. But this lady is amazing. When I told her I wanted to write about her, she responded very coldly but I did not give up and went after her. She told me she was shy of publicity and believed only in working at the grassroot level. Since that day, I have been associated with her as a personal friend and a volunteer. My support in cash and kind may be very negligible as compared to what many generous friends of hers regularly donate to her trust. But I try to support her in small little ways like filling up teaching time, recording lessons on audio cassettes, helping her edit the annual reports and other important correspondence and networking her with many of my family members and friends. Whoever visits me has to go on a tour to the wonderful institutions that Muktha runs and most of them definitely fall for them and continue their association. The stark difference that struck me in her schools is the brightness and positive energy that reverberates there. Confident and chirpy children attract all visitors, unlike certain places which are gloomy and depressing. Muktha goes all out to maintain the ambience very clean, beautiful, bright, aesthetic and peaceful with a lot of greenery inside and outside the buildings. The first person I approach when anyone comes to me seeking help is Muktha and she will try her best to help them out. Of course none of the scores of people that I referred to stuck on to her or made use of the golden opportunity to work for such a splendid institution. Yet, I do not hesitate to keep tapping on her doors and she does not turn me away. Our friendship is getting stronger day by day. My family is now her family. My husband too joins me in all my endeavours of reaching out to her and my children too have a special place for her in their hearts. What astounds us is her persistence despite so many challenges that she keeps facing in her journey. All the students, whose lives have changed for good after joining Mathru should forever remember Muktha’s important part and her struggle and be ever grateful to her.

My family is ever with her in all her good work and we wish her a long life, good health and blessings of Lord Raghavendra, whom she trusts totally!