Ms. Gubbi R. Muktha is the Founder and Managing Trustee of the Mathru Educational Trust for the Blind (Mathru Trust) in Bangalore India. Founded in 2001, the Mathru Trust includes the School for the Blind (Mathru School), our partner for the Braille Tutor comparative study, and the Center for the Deaf and Differently Abled (Mathru Center).
Her passion for educating and rehabilitating children with disabilities began in 1986, when Ms. Muktha lost half of her foot in a road accident. She started visiting the Vocational Rehabilitation Centre of the Disabled in Bangalore, where she met young children who had various disabilities. These interactions helped her to learn to be confident and to live independently. In 2001, Ms. Muktha and a couple of her supporters started Mathru and opened a residential school for blind children to help them lead an independent life and empower them to contribute to society. The Mathru School started in a cottage in Ms. Muktha’s backyard with only one blind child and one blind teacher. The Mathru School has grown by one standard every year and now has a dedicated building, 10 standards, and over 100 students. In 2011, the Mathru Trust started construction of the Mathru Center to educate and empower deaf and hard-of-hearing children and children with multiple disabilities.
In September 2015, Ms. Muktha visited the United States for the first time and visited TechBridgeWorld at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh as part of her tour. She met with TechBridgeWorld Founder and Director M. Bernardine Dias, Project Manager Ermine Teves, and Advisory Board member M. Beatrice Dias. For lunch, Ms. Muktha met with several TechBridgeWorld students and alumni from Carnegie Mellon University who had worked on projects with Mathru in the past. Ms. Muktha stayed with Bernardine during her trip and Ermine picked up Ms. Muktha from the airport and arranged for tours of the Western Pennsylvania School for the Blind and the Western Pennsylvania School for the Deaf so that she could learn about their practices that could be applied to Mathru’s School for the Blind and Center for the Deaf and Differently Abled. TechBridgeWorld Videographer Matt Richards also interviewed Ms. Muktha for the Braille Tutor Comparative Study. To wrap up the day, Ms. Muktha met with several members of the Assistive Robots for Blind Travelers team, another project of the TechBridgeWorld research group.