Saturday, July 28, 2007

Visually impaired workers now have more career options

With beauty and personal care sector coming up as one of the fastest-growing in India, it is also offering a chance for the visually impaired to break the traditional mould and look for new career opportunities. Some 50 visually challenged people have undergone training in therapeutic massage since the Blind Relief Association, New Delhi, started a course in collaboration with the Vandana Luthra Curls and Curves (VLCC) Institute three years ago.

"It is a vocational course mainly aimed at imparting scientific training to the blind in massaging and body therapy techniques to help them become self-reliant," says A David, the project manager of the Association who designed the course, open for both men and women who passed eighth standard with science as one of the subjects.

Covering relaxation and therapeutic massage, pressure point massage and aromatherapy, the three-month course is recognised by the VLCC, which imparts training to the instructors and awards certificate to the students. Four batches have passed out since the course was started in 2004, and while some 15 visually impaired students are working independently, several have opened their own massage parlours, providing jobs to others, says Rampal Singh, who is working as an instructor.

The Association is also providing self-employment and placement assistance. "We are imparting the training free of cost to equip the visually challenged to make a career for themselves," Yogesh Sethi, the CEO of VLCC Health Care Ltd, says.


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