Profile of the Founder of Gnanadharshan Seva: Mr.C.Sundaresan
A visually challenged person with partial vision, he is the founder trustee of the institute. A graduate in English Literature, he has dedicated himself to the service of the visually challenged. An active participant in sports during his school days, he was the national champion in javelin throwing under the disabled category. Having gone thru the pain of losing his vision after the age of eight, he has the personal experience of the sufferings of visually challenged people. Through his work experience in various voluntary organizations he has gained valuable insights and knowledge on how to run such institutes. He has come up with many innovative programs including a summer camp to offer a crash course on subjects such as spoken English, Music, spoken Hindi, etc.
Mr.C.Sundaresan was born on 15th of May 1975 in Chennai. He studied in a regular matriculation school for normal people. While he studied in 3rd standard, his vision was affected and his teachers identified it and informed his parents. Till 6th standard, he managed to study in the same school, but he found it difficult to study with his partial vision. Due to this, he was forced to be idle at home without studies for 2-3 years. After the final consultation from the doctors of Sankara Nethralaya, his mother was advised to continue her son’s education in a blind school. From 6th to 12th standard, he finished his education at St.Louis School for the Blind at Adyar, Chennai. He later completed a correspondence course in English Literature and graduated with a Bachelor Degree of Arts. Along with this education he worked as a volunteer in a blind welfare trust. During this period, he helped the blind people for their education, employment and other cultural activities.
He did this service as a freelance for the benefit of people. Later, Rev Fr Kashmir Raj, came forward to help him on observing his service. He gave him permission to operate a PCO booth during 2001-02 at LIBA (Loyola Institute of Business Administration). Though he worked in the PCO, his intention was only to continue with the service. Finally he decided to work for the service of the blind women and started Goodwill Foundation of India in 2003.
There were no funds to take care of the basic necessities of the institution and debts were mounting from grocers and the landlord. Though many people advised Mr. Sundaresan to drop out of the project, he never wanted to do that because he truly wanted to continue the service for the blind women he had dedicated himself to.
Mr. Sundaresan had taken his residents for a medical check up organized by the Income Tax Department. There he had a chance meeting with the chief commissioner, Mr. Gopalan, IRS, who gave a patient hearing to the students and enquired about their individual necessities. At that time, one of the students of Goodwill informed the present status of the institution and he immediately assured to help them. He immediately contributed by paying the four months’ dues for monthly rental of the premises.
This served as a big confidence booster to Mr. Sundaresan and he tirelessly worked from dawn to dusk and started receiving funds from various philanthropists and good Samaritans. Though it was always a challenge to make ends meet, his undying commitment and “can do” attitude ensured that the institute is run effectively. Today the motivating factor for Mr. Sundaresan lies in the facts that more than 100 visually challenged women have benefitted from his service and are well placed in society including some who have successfully found employment in government jobs.
Mr. Sundaresan is today not just a guide, mentor and philosopher for the residents of Gnanadharshan Seva Foundation but a role model and source of inspiration.h