Friday, March 30, 2007

Love against poverty for the visually impaired couples

A small hamlet in southern Madurai holds special significance in the life of 36 visually challenged couples. All the 36 couples fell in love while studying in a special school for the visually impaired in Tamil Nadu's temple town and got married.For the last 25 years, they've been living together in the Sakkimangalam Panchayat like an extended family."We have better facilities here. It is a safe haven for couples.

The locals are very helpful," said C Thaipoosam, Panchayat Leader. The local villagers have been good samaritans."In other places they disrespect us. Here, they are respectful and responsive. That is why we have been living here for the past 25 years," said Utsamma, resident.Many of these families have children with normal vision. Getting them properly educated is a challenge. Weaving plastic chairs, selling candles and agarbattis fetches about Rs 50 a day.

That's hardly enough to make ends meet."We have to travel quite far for work. Many of us have 3-4 children. If the Government gets us some jobs here it will be a big help," said Chinnaswamy, resident.Despite their poverty, they trudge along with a smile showing the world that disability is no liability.


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