A Man With A Vision: Krishnakant Mane
Rudransh Sharma | Nov 05, 2018
It was the second day of Innovision which heard the motivating words of Mr. Krishnakant Mane, judge of the RunIO Hackathon. A simple man who lost his sight in very early stages of his life, the Robin Hood of the cyber world, Krishnakant Mane is a hacker with purpose. A hacker by choice, the economics graduate who has vowed to relentlessly serve the greater good through his sharp skills and indomitable spirit. He learned to make his way out of everything life had to throw at him and be the inspiration for many. Hence to get a feel from this great man Team Monday Morning had a word with him. Excerpts:
Monday Morning: So how are you feeling today? How has your stay in NITR been so far?
Krishnakant Mane: The guest house is nice. There are so many departments in your fest, everything has its own coordinators and that’s nice but there was some lack of coordination. One part of the team doesn’t know what the other one has done and hence we had to face some inconvenience today. It’s just that every team is doing their own work as a separate entity. What they need to do is share the information with the other coordinators as well. Barring these, I felt everything was good.
MM: Tell us something about your childhood and how it helped you to shape you into what you are today.
KM: Issues which I had to face were actually the issues which my parents had to face because I was a child back then. The one thing they wanted and which was not possible in those days was, they wanted to put me in a school for sighted kids. Not a separate school due to the lack of cohesiveness and the towering amount of difficulties I would have to face otherwise. They wanted to put me in a school in which my elder sister went to not let me feel left out. So it was very difficult to get admission into. Even if I got an admission how would I be able to survive there, was another thing to cater to. The teachers were not trained like they were supposed to like they are in other countries, teachers who don’t really intervene unless absolutely necessary. Due to this lack of specialization in the education for the sighted kids, my parents had to endure all the added burden of getting me educated. Taking notes was always a challenge and I used to listen to the recorded lesson on the tape. During the class time, I had to type everything out on a machine which then converts it to braille. That was indeed a time-consuming process because I had to work much harder than a normal student would to get the same level of education. Other than that, I did everything which other kids did.
MM: Do you think the current education system is accommodative of people who are differentially abled? What changes would you like to bring?
KM: Initially, it was due to the lack of technology now it’s neither about technology nor about awareness as much as it is about the attitude. The problem is India is not that accommodative of people who are differently abled due to several reasons. One of them is the influence media and motion pictures have on Indians. The stereotyping in the movies has seeped down and is shaping the mentality of the people. Not only the media but also the superstition and the god-fearing mentality of Indians lead to more of the discrimination. The sympathetic view, the notion— can he ever live a normal life? People can’t believe that someone without the sense of sight can actually have his/her partner who is perfectly fit. They usually characterize them as their sisters/brothers which ideally should not happen. I mean, would the same question have been asked to a normal couple. That seems quite outrageous to me. Another factor is the accessibility, what I feel is the society haven’t really been developed in such a way to cater to someone who is differently abled. Due to these factors, Indian education system can never be that accommodative of differently abled people. Due to the outlook of life which they have because of the inherent presence of social evils such as prejudices and discrimination.
MM: Since most of your work revolves around rural areas have you ever had to face any sort of discrimination or prejudices?
KM: The funny part in rural areas is it works the other way around. They find me as an inspiration. I don’t know what the reason behind it is, but they just think in a much broader way than you would expect them to. The problem is that people are usually over cautious with me and that basically does me more harm than good. They will be really concerned about me, I am an avid trekker and I do trek a lot and if involves some rural areas then they would be like why did you bring this poor guy with you. Again this discrimination comes into play, what they do not know is I am the one leading them. Otherwise, they are awed and inspired by me and that’s a refreshing change from the way I'm treated in the developed places per se.
MM: What's your coping mechanism for all the adversities of life?
KM: I am a hacker by choice. The meaning of a hacker is smeared, it actually means someone who takes a problem breaks them into pieces and chalks out a solution to get out of the problem. They are the ones who lack at resources and yet they are the ones who come out of the situation thrown at them, these people are actually called as hackers. I believe that every problem can be hacked if you think about it. Another inspiration of mine is Sherlock Holmes. These stories give you one thing, that everyone notices but no one actually observes. So learn to make deductions out of everything in life. It’s not really tough. Make fun of your problems, don’t take them seriously because if you take unnecessary pressure you will not be able to solve it. At the same time, you need to be alert and you need to make observations and deductions. Everything boils down to cold hard logic and it can be easily used to get out of any situation.
MM-What's the thing that's motivating you daily to live your life and achieve your goals?
KM: Smile actually. I just love to find people smile so if I can make people happy and make them smile I feel very motivated. The more impact I have on people the more motivated I am.
MM-Some words you would like to share for Monday Morning’s readers.
Always share and be open. Be selfishly sharing because the more you share the more you gain. So be selfish and keep sharing