The National Federation of the Blind (NFB) on Tuesday urged the Centre to increase reservation for visually impaired persons in government jobs and education to 2% within the 4% quota for persons with disabilities.
The current reservation of 1% for persons with vision impairment was not commensurate with the number of persons with such disability in the country and needs to enhanced. But even 1% reservation for persons with vision impairment is not being implemented properly, the federation officebearers said at a press conference here.
The federation demanded that all governments ensure implementation of the quota for persons with vision impairment.
“It is regrettable that no politician is ready to take up our cause. They are concerned only about their vote banks. But elected representatives should raise our demands in the Assembly and Parliament as there are significant number of persons with vision impairment in each constituency across the country,” said K.C.Salethu, Advisor, NFB.
Putting forward a slew of demands, the NFB members called upon the State government to allow persons with vision impairment to open petty shops in public places owned by local bodies and Public Works and Highways departments. Marketing rights of Amma drinking water should be given to persons with vision impairment. Such measures would help prevent persons with vision impairment from resorting to begging.
Also, the old age pension for them should be increased to ₹2,500 from ₹1,000 a month. Some of the neighbouring States had increased the pension already, claimed A. Ramaiah, treasurer.
K. Natarajan, State vice-president, NFB, called upon the Tamil Nadu Public Service Commission to conduct exclusive recruitment examinations for persons with visual impairment every two years.
Demanding that coaches meant for persons with disabilities be restored in all trains, NFB members also complained that many of the conductors of Tamil Nadu State Transport Corporation did not honour a government order extending 75% fare concession to persons with disabilities. “Many conductors act in a rude manner and ask us to get down. Some make their own interpretations and ask us to pay half the ticket fare,” said Mr. Salethu and sought the formation of a monitoring team to ensure that the concession was made available to persons with disabilities.
The federation also urged the government to provide employment to all vision impaired persons who cleared the State government’s public examinations and teacher training exams.
Expressing concern over deaths of persons with disabilities in road accidents, the federation urged the government to install voice-enabled traffic signals. Similarly, voice announcements on bus arrivals and departure should be made in all bus stands in the State, they said.