Rajpur

Administrative / Biographical History

(district of Dehra Dun, UP) In the 1880s, Miss Annie Sharp visited her sister Frances, a doctor of St Catherine’s Hospital (run by CEZMS) at Amritsar. She was distressed at the high incidence of blindness brought on by smallpox, measles, syphilis and the decoration of babies’ eyes. She returned to England to learn Braille and blind training, and then in 1887 set up a small private industrial school for blind women and girls with Miss Hewlett. In 1903, the school moved to Rajpur, and Annie Sharp died of cholera two weeks later. Renamed Sharp Memorial School for the Blind, it was the first school for blind children in India. Miss Sharp’s sisters, Frances and Emily, continued to run the school and later invited Miss Helena Youngs to assist. In 1932, ZBMM took it over and Miss Youngs continued as superintendent. During the 1960s and 1970s, Miss Jeanette Short worked there and was involved in producing the Bible in Hindi Braille.

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