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Dr. URVI JANGAM – Co-Founder & Executive Director

India’s first blind woman with Ph.D. in German studies

Her love and passion for German language has been the driving-force in reaching the current level of expertise in the field of German studies, and equally excellent command over the language. The urge to find scientific answers to questions pertaining to non-visual aesthetic perception inspired her to take up the herculean task of Her doctoral thesis titled Die Ästhetik des nicht-Visuellen (the aesthetics of non-visual). Her successful planning and execution of six-years international stays in Germany, two-years (2014/ 2016) as DAAD research scholar, a three-weeks stay in the USA for participation in the conference of German Studies Association in the year 2016, and independent, self-financed stay for completion of the Ph.D. thesis (2016/ 2020) are worth mentioning. She takes avid interest in matters concerning international and intercultural cooperation. As a blind individual, interactions with fellow human beings form an indispensable part of her day-to-day life.

During Her Ph.D. and masters, she has always shown keen interest in matters concerning accessibility, particularly accessible teaching and learning methods. Her master's thesis dwelled upon German as a foreign language for blind and visually impaired learners in integrated German language-courses in India. Her next immediate aim is to expand her research-topic "Aesthetics of the Non-Visual" by entering into the realm of vocational training. She intends to apply this newly developed non-visual aesthetic concept Adrishya rasa in designing foreign language courses, as well as theatre and painting courses for the blind. She intends to induce accessibility awareness by training students to manoeuvre assistive technology in innovative ways pivotal to their professional growth.


RITA REGO — Co-Founder & Director

After a successful stint of 24 years in the corporate world, Rita shares that "she has been fortunate to get an opportunity to focus on her passion”. Since her early college days, she was inclined towards working with the visually impaired and was involved in reinforcing them.

Working in a multi-national fragrance company, Rita was instrumental in one of their CSR programs, setting up an educational initiative to help enrich the lives of visually impaired people by introducing them to the world of perfumery. Based on a survey, it was found that the visually impaired are far better at recognising & remembering smells than the fully-sighted. Working closely with the visually impaired & understanding how they make the best use of their senses was an amazing experience for her.

Despite the path-breaking initiative, it was evident that they further need a support system to function and perform. Moreover, job options are also limited. To add to it, most students come from under-privileged backgrounds, with typical psychological and financial issues. Hence, trade-based training aimed at proper job opportunities is required. Aesthesis Foundation for visually impaired aims to work towards this very goal.
Rather than focusing on the standard verbal-linguistic or mathematical-logical intelligence, our vocational training provides courses for visually impaired who can build their strengths in:

  • Partial Visual – Spatial Intelligence
  • Bodily – Kinaesthetic Intelligence
  • Interpersonal Intelligence
  • Intrapersonal Intelligence
  • Naturalist Intelligence
  • Existentialist Intelligence
  • Musical Intelligence

Students who grasp & perceive things through these different abilities can fit into the ever-changing global workplace with ease. It equips one with the right social and technological skills necessary to become effective & competitive in the job market.