Saturday, November 04, 2006

Program made available to train the visually impaired in technology

CHENNAI: Considering the potential of information technology to provide jobs to the physically handicapped, the Union Ministry of Information Technology has embarked on a programme to provide job-oriented training in IT to the visually impaired.

Announcing this here on Sunday, Union Minister for Communications and Information Technology Dayanidhi Maran said 20 schools, half of them in Tamil Nadu, were selected for the programme. The rest were in Delhi.

The programme included training for jobs at call centres, he told 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 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.
Tamil Nadu Commissioner for the Disabled V.K. Jayakodi said the State Government decided to provide computers meant for the visually impaired to the schools. This would benefit students of Standard X and Plus-Two. It would also provide pre-recorded audiocassettes and tape recorders to the schools.

He said orders would be issued shortly for launching a scheme under which top rankers in public examinations among the visually impaired would get cash awards and assistance to pursue higher education.

Mr. Govinda Krishnan said that a team, led by the Revenue Secretary, recently visited Tiruvallur district and identified a land to house the facilities of Nethrodaya. Managing director of Force 1 Guarding Services, president of Sify V. Sivaramakrishnan and Nethrodaya patron R. S. Vasan and playback singer Shalini spoke.


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