Inner Eyes Music Institute for the Blind

One of the highlights of my time in Brahmanbaria was the chance I had to visit the Inner Eyes Music Institute for the Blind. The Institute was started by Afzalur Rahman and his 2 daughters. Afzalur Rahman was blind at the age of 9 after suffering from typhoid. He did not let his blindness hold him back. He started playing the violin and the sarod at a young age and was until his death, the top classical musician in all of Bangladesh. He was also thought to have been the only blind sarod player in the world.

I was able to meet Afzalur Rahman's two daughters during my visit to Bangladesh. The older of the two is Mohua Rahman Ruba who started losing her eyesight at an early age due to a glaucoma attack. Mohua has specialized in singing popular Bengali songs as well as in sub-continental classics. She sings fluently in Hindi, Japanese and English, and has participated in several concerts both at home and abroad. She, like her father, plays the sarod and the violin. The youngest daughter is Antara Rahman TungTang, who is completely visually impaired. Antara is an expert violin player.

I was fortunate to have the chance to be invited into the home of Mohua and Antara for a small concert. They were truly the kindest hostesses. The following clip shows the sisters performing classical music from Bangladesh:

The sisters also performed an original song they wrote in English:

Afzalur Rahman and his daughters started the Inner Eyes Institue in Brahmanbaria and his daughter continue to run the school out of their home today. While their primary focus is on music, they also teach their students how to use computers using special software. Almost all of the blind students who attend Brahmanbaria High School take classes at the Institute.

Ustad Afzalur Rahman passed away in 2009, so I unfortunately I did not have the chance to see him play. Lianain Films posted the following video of Maestro Rahman after their visit with the family shortly before he passed away:

Aljazeera recently posted a slideshow featuring Ustad Afzalur Rahman and his daughters. You can view the slideshow at the following link the following link:



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