Lesson 9 - ROLE MODEL

First strive and desire , then desire,

So have saints to us told,

This is national progress ‘mantra’ (formula)

In your hearts you must hold.

UDYAM SHASTRA- Chapter 2,Verse 9


Reading this module and doing the students activities will enable the students :

  • To develop positive attitude in life.

  • To develop strength to overcome difficulties in life.

  • To develop concepts like fund raising, social activities

  • To introduce the students with some more vocation.

  • To develop the concept of social recognition.

  • To develop the understanding about human relations and emotional attachments between paid service providers and service users.

  • To develop the concept of gratitude.

  • To develop understanding that the weakness can be converted in to strength by constant efforts.


(Basic instruction regarding E.CONCEPTS to trainers: The trainer is requested to first read and follow the ‘Basic instructions regarding Enterprise Concepts to trainers’ and proceed further thereafter. The trainer should ask a series of leading and thought provoking questions to elicit answers from the students. These answers are expected to make the students understand these E.Concepts in their own words that they recognize and know).

Definitions of the E. CONCEPTS of the module “Our National Heros”

EARNING MONEY: It is essential for all persons whether handicapped or not to make them selves productive and useful. Selfrespect of individuals is mostly related to ability to earn money or ability to be useful to others.

FUND RAISING: The ability to raise capital to start business enterprise or social enterprise. The ability to convince others about your abilities and intentions so that they trust you with the money. The ability to earn trust of others and ability to gather money for a social cause or social enterprise. Printing and Publishing business: The business in which newspapers, magazines or periodicals are printed and sold to earn profit.

Importance of touring in business: Traveling is important to business. One can explore new market segments and identify newer opportunities, new products and new services. Expand the market and widen the range of products.


(Basic instruction regarding E.SKILLS to trainers: The trainer is requested to first read and follow the ‘Basic instructions regarding

Enterprise Skills to trainers’ and proceed further thereafter).

The students activity is designed to clarify the CONCEPTS of the module and develop some ‘ENTERPRISE SKILLS’ (E. Skills).

The E.Skills included in a module may not be exhaustive but are only indicative. E.Skills stated in modules elsewhere may also get addressed through the activities of a module.:

Positive attitude: -------.

Determination: -------.

Goal orientation: -------.

Overcoming obstacles :-------.


Activity 1 : ------ “STORY OF HELLEN KELLER ”


  • Form groups as suggested by teacher.

  • Read the given story of Hellen Keller.

  • Discuss all the question that follow the story.

Hellen Keller:

‘We would never learn to be brave and patient if there were only joy in the world.’

- Hellen Keller,

These words were spoken by a woman called ‘Hellen Keller” who was blind and deaf. Her body was handicapped but the spirit was not. Her life was an example for all who were handicapped and also who were not handicapped. Her determination, courage and strong faith in God and her teachers made her a legend and an example for others. She is still remembered by the whole world through her great deeds. The story that you are about to read now is a real story. You may have seen some English or Hindi movies based on the life of Hellen Keller. Now read the real story of Hellen Keller.

Childhood: Helen Adams Keller was born on 27 June 1880 in Tuscumbia, a small rural town in Northwest Alabama, USA. Her father was called Arthur and Mother was Kate. Kate was born as a normal child. Arthur and Kate were not very rich but lived a contended life. Arthur owned cotton plantations and also was an editor of a weekly newspaper called ‘North Alabamian”. Helen’s mother, as well as working on the plantation, would save money by making her own butter, lard, bacon and ham.

In February 1882, when Helen was nineteen months old, she fell ill. To this day the nature of her ailment remains a mystery. The doctors of the time called it “brain fever”, whilst modern day doctors think it may have been scarlet fever or meningitis. Doctors as well all lost hope and thought Hellen was dieing. But miraculously the fever subsided. Few days later the mother realized that the girl was responding to sound as well light. The doctors declared that Hellen had turned blind and deaf for life. No medical treatment or operations could make her see or hear again. The following few years proved very hard for Helen and her family. Helen became a very difficult child, smashing dishes and lamps and terrorizing the whole household with her screaming and temper tantrums. Relatives regarded her as a monster and thought she should be put into an institution. Looking after Helen was proving too much for them. Kate Keller traveled to a specialist doctor in Baltimore for advice. They were given confirmation that Helen would never see or hear again but were told not to give up hope, the doctor believed Helen could be taught and he advised them to visit a local expert on the problems of deaf children. This expert was Alexander Graham Bell, the inventor of the telephone; Bell was now concentrating on what he considered his true vocation, the teaching of deaf children.

Alexander Graham Bell suggested that the Kellers should write to write to Michael Anagnos, the director of the Perkins Institution and Massachusetts Asylum for the Blind. They wrote to Anagnos to find a teacher for Hellen. The teacher who was found was Anne Sullivan a former student of the same Perkins Institute.

Anne Sullivan: Anne Sullivan had lost the majority of her sight at the age of five. By the age of ten, her mother had died and her father deserted her. She and her brother Jimmie were sent to the poorhouse in Anne’s brother died in the poorhouse. Anne finally left and went to commence her education at the Perkins Institution. One summer during her time at the institute, Anne had two operations on her eyes, which led to her regaining enough sight to be able to read normal print for short periods of time. Anne graduated from Perkins and began to search for work. Finding work was terribly difficult for Anne, due to her poor eyesight, and when she received the offer from Michael Anagnos to work as the teacher of Helen Keller, a deaf-blind mute, although she had no experience in this area, she accepted willingly.

Helen meets Anne: On 3 March 1887 Anne arrived at the house in Tuscumbia and for the first time met Helen Keller. Anne immediately started teaching Helen to finger spell. Spelling out the word “Doll” to signify a present she had brought with her for Helen. The next word she taught Helen was “Cake”. Although Helen could repeat these finger movements she could not quite understand what they meant. And while Anne was struggling trying to help her understand, she was also struggling to try and control Helen’s continuing bad behavior. Anne and Helen moved into a small cottage on the land of the main house to try and get Helen to improve her behavior. Of particular concern were Helen’s table manners. She had taken to eating with her hands and from the plates of everyone at the table. Anne’s attempts to improve Helen’s table manners and make her brush her own hair and button her shoes led to more and more temper tantrums. Anne punished these tantrums by refusing to “talk” with Helen by spelling words on her hands. Over the coming weeks, however, Helen’s behavior did begin to improve as a bond grew between the two. Then, after a month of Anne’s teaching, what the people of the time called a “miracle” occurred. Helen had until now not yet fully understood the meaning of words. When Anne led her to the water pump on 5 April 1887, all that was about to change.

As Anne pumped the water over Helen’s hand, Anne spelled out the word water in the girl’s free hand. Something about this explained the meaning of words within Helen, and Anne could immediately see in her face that she finally understood.

Helen later recounted the incident: “We walked down the path to the well-house, attracted by the fragrance of the honey-suckle with which it was covered. Someone was drawing water and my teacher placed my hand under the spout. As the cool stream gushed over one hand she spelled into the other the word water, first slowly, then rapidly. I stood still, my whole attention fixed upon the motions of her fingers. Suddenly I felt a misty consciousness as of something forgotten, a thrill of returning thought, and somehow the mystery of language was revealed to me.”

Helen immediately asked Anne for the name of the pump to be spelt on her hand and then the name of the trellis. All the way back to the house Helen learned the name of everything she touched and also asked for Anne’s name. Anne spelled the name “Teacher” on Helen’s hand. Within the next few hours Helen learnt the spelling of thirty new words.

Helen’s progress from then on was astonishing. Her ability to learn was far in advance of anything that anybody had seen before in someone without sight or hearing. It wasn’t long before Anne was teaching Helen to read, firstly with raised letters and later

with Braille, and to write with both ordinary and Braille typewriters. Michael Anagnos published the articles written by Hellen and also published her picture. Helen had become famous, and as well as again visiting Alexander Graham Bell, she visited President Cleveland at the White House. By 1890 she was living at the Perkins Institute and being taught by Anne. Helen was still only 11 years old, Helen enters Radcliffe College. Helen moved on to the Cambridge School for Young Ladies in 1896 and in the Autumn of 1900 entered Radcliffe College, becoming the first deaf-blind person to have ever enrolled at an institution of higher learning.

Life at Radcliffe was very difficult for Helen and Anne, and the huge amount of work involved led to deterioration in Anne’s eyesight. During their time at the College Helen began to write about her life. She would write the story both in Braille and on a normal typewriter. It was at this time that Helen and Anne met with John Albert Macy who was to help edit Helen’s first book “The Story of My Life” which was published in 1903.The book did not turn out to be the best seller but later came to be known as classic..

On 28 June 1904 Helen graduated from Radcliffe College, becoming the first deaf-blind person to earn a Bachelor of Arts degree.

John Macy became good friends with Helen and Anne, and in May 1905 John and Anne were married. Anne’s name now changed to Anne Sullivan Macy.

During this time Helen wrote “The World I Live In”, revealing for the first time her thoughts on her world. It was also during this time that John Macy introduced her to a new and revolutionary way of viewing the world. And in 1909 Helen became a member of the Socialist Party of Massachusetts. In 1913 “Out of the Dark” was published. This was a series of essays on socialism and Hellen once again became a public figure. Everyone now knew Helen’s political views.

Helen tours the World: Helen and Anne filled the following years with lecture tours, speaking of her experiences and beliefs to charmed the crowds. Her talks were interpreted sentence by sentence by Anne Sullivan, and were followed by question and answer sessions. Although Helen and Anne made a good living from their lectures, by 1918 the demand for Helen’s lectures had diminished. When the demand for lectures reduced, Anne and Hellen developed shows, which depicted the experiences of Hellen in early learning days It demonstrated Helen’s first understanding of the word “water”. These shows were hugely successful from the very first performance, a review of which read as follows: Helen Keller has conquered again, and the Monday afternoon audience at the Palace, one of the most critical and cynical in the World, was hers.”

At this time they were also offered the chance to make a film in Hollywood and they jumped at the opportunity. “Deliverance”, the story of Helen’s life, was made. Helen was, however, unhappy with the glamorous nature of the film and it unfortunately did not prove to be the financial success that they had hoped for. The shows continued, Helen answering a wide range of questions on

her life and her politics and Anne translating Helen’s answers for the enthralled audience. They were earning up to two thousand dollars a week, which was a considerable sum of money at the time. In 1918 Helen, Anne and John moved to Forest Hills in New York. Helen used their new home as a base for her extensive fundraising tours for the American Foundation for the Blind. She not only collected money, but also campaigned tirelessly to alleviate the living and working conditions of blind people, who at that time were usually badly educated and living in asylums. Her endeavors were a major factor in changing these conditions. The time after that was bad for Hellen. She lost her mother Kate in an ill ness. After John Macy’s death Anne to did not live longer and Helen was grieved to loose all she had in the name of family.They also spent a lot of time touring the world raising money for blind

people. In 1931 they met King George and Queen Mary at Buckingham Palace, who were said to be deeply impressed by Helen’s ability to understand what people said through touch. After World War Two, Helen and Polly spent years traveling the world

fundraising for the American Foundation for the Overseas Blind. They visited Japan, Australia, South America, Europe and Africa.

While they were away on a tour, a fire broke out in their house at Arcan Ridge and destroyed it completely. The house could be rebuilt but the fire had also destroyed the Hellen’s latest book that she was writing on Anne called ‘ Teacher’ Whilst away during this time Helen and Polly learnt of the fire that destroyed their home at. It was also during this time that Polly Thomson’s health began to deteriorate and whilst in Japan she had a hear attack. Doctors advised Polly to stop the continuous touring. Hellen and Poly slowed down their extensive touring but started again once Polly was all right. In 1953 a documentary film “The Unconquered” was made about Helen’s life, this was to win an Academy Award as the best feature length documentary. It was at the same time that Helen began work again on her book “Teacher”, some seven years after the original had been destroyed.

The book was finally published in 1955. Polly Thomson had a stroke in 1957, she was never to fully recover and died on March 21, 1960. Her ashes were deposited at the National Cathedral in Washington DC next to those of Anne Sullivan. Winnie Corbally was a nurse who was brought in to look after Poly in her last days then started looking after Hellen in her remaining years.The Miracle Worker It was in 1957 that “The Miracle Worker” was first performed. A drama portraying Anne Sullivan’s first success in communicating with Helen as a child, it first appeared as a live television play in the United States. In 1959 it was re-written as a Broadway play and opened to rave reviews. It became a smash hit and ran for almost two years. In 1962 it was made into a film and the actresses playing Anne and Helen both received Oscars for their performances.

Helen retires from public life: In October 1961 Helen suffered the first heart attack and her public life came to an end. She was to spend her remaining years being cared for at her home in Arcan Ridge. Her last years were not however without excitement, and in 1964 Helen was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation’s highest civilian award, by President Lyndon Johnson. A year later she was elected to the Women’s Hall of Fame at the New York World’s Fair. On June 1, 1968, at Arcan Ridge, Helen Keller died peacefully in her sleep. Her ashes were deposited next to those of Anne Sullivan and Polly Thomson.

Helen’s legacy Today Helen’s final resting place is a popular tourist attraction and the bronze plaque erected to commemorate her life has the following inscription written in Braille: “Helen Keller and her beloved companion Anne Sullivan Macy are interred

in the columbarium behind this chapel.” So many people have visited the chapel, and touched the Braille dots, that the plaque has already had to be replaced twice. If Helen Keller were born today her life would undoubtedly have been completely different. Her life long dream was to be able to talk, something that she was never really able to master. Today the teaching methods exist that would have helped Helen to realize this dream. What would Helen have made of the technology available today to blind and deaf-blind individuals?

Collect more information about Hellen Keller.

Collect pictures of Hellen Keller and Anne Sullivan.

Find about some more people who have achieved great heights in life after over coming great difficulties. If any such person is in your relation or friends or neighborhood, take interview of this person. Prepare a story of this person and share it with your class.

Arrange an exhibition of all pictures, sketches of Hellen Keller, Anne Sullivan and all such person interviewed by you.