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In Conversation with Dr. Urvi Jangam – India’s first visually impaired woman to secure a PhD in German Studies

Ashmi Seth

The Womb had the honour of interviewing Dr. Urvi Jangam, India’s first visually impaired woman to secure a PhD in German Studies. Dr. Urvi is also the co-founder of Aesthesis Foundation for Visually Impaired, which helps visually impaired students gain independence through vocational training and all-round development based on optimum utilization of four senses, and is first of its kind in India.

In the exclusive hour-long interview, Dr. Urvi speaks about her doctoral thesis, “Aesthetics of Non-Visual,” and shares how visually impaired persons experience aesthetic pleasure, perceive colours and imagine landscapes. She goes on to explain her theory of ‘Adrishya Rasa,’ which literally translates to the aesthetics of non-visual, and how she applies it to the theatre and painting courses she has designed for the visually impaired. Dr. Urvi also talks about the strengths, values and beliefs that have helped navigate her path through the obstacles and challenges that life brought on. On what changes people can make in their day-to-day behaviour to make lives of persons with disabilities a bit better, Dr. Urvi says, “it starts from school.” She elaborates on how schools are the first step for encouraging conversation and co-operation between people who are so called “normal” and persons with disabilities. She expresses her wish for increase in awareness in India about the experience of visually impaired people so that people can understand them better and are not hesitant to approach them. Dr. Urvi also talks about the importance of women safety, defence training, and the inclusion of any kind of sport in a woman’s life.

Dr. Urvi urges volunteers to join their institute, Aesthesis Foundation, and spend some time with their students constructively by sharing their field expertise. If you wish to volunteer, donate to or know more about Aesthesis Foundation, please visit their website: You can also mail them at

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