The Union Ministry of Information Technology has embarked on a programme to provide job-oriented training in information technology (IT) to the visually impaired. The Union Minister for Communications and Information Technology, Dayanidhi Maran, said 20 schools, half of them in Tamil Nadu, have been selected for the programme; the rest are in Delhi.
The programme includes training for jobs at call centres, explained the Minister at the fourth anniversary celebrations of Nethrodaya, a self-help organisation for the visually impaired. He also inaugurated a browsing centre for the visually impaired, set up with the support of Sify Limited and Satyam Computers.
Appreciating the initiatives of Nethrodaya and of its founder C. Govinda Krishnan, Mr Maran said that as per the last census, there were 2.20 crore physically challenged people in the country. Though 43 per cent of them were educated, only 34 per cent (around 70 lakh) were employed.
The Tamil Nadu Commissioner for the Disabled V.K. Jayakodi said that the State Government has decided to provide computers meant for the visually impaired to schools. This would benefit the students of Standards X to XII.
The Government would also provide pre-recorded audiocassettes as well as tape recorders to the schools. The Commissioner said that orders would be issued shortly for launching a scheme under which top rankers in public examinations among the visually impaired would all be given cash awards. In addition, these achievers would get assistance to help them pursue their education.