VELLORE: The Tamil Nadu Braille Chess Association (Association) has urged the State government to allot visually challenged persons who excel in sport, including Chess, government jobs on the sports quota.
Secretary designate of the Association, R Sathishkumar who has been vocal in this regard told Express that chess is the only game played by both normal and visually challenged persons and excelling in this game could be considered as one of the factors for allotting jobs.
The 27-year-old Sathishkumar was born blind and took up chess at the age of ten. While being mentored by a partially blind professor and while studying at the blind school in Vellore, he contested the State and the National level chess tournaments. He believes that chess should be taught in schools by experts for visually challenged youngsters so that the game can be a platform to a brighter future. The State government should also provide infrastructure facilities for the benefit of visually challenged chess players to practice, learn and take part in national and international tournaments.
Visually challenged persons have exhibited talent in several fields, noted Sathishkumar who excels in dancing and in playing the drums. He thinks that such talent should be the deciding factor for jobs. Referring to an initiative taken by a private hospital in Thanjavur to recruit visually challenged person excelling in chess, he said the State and the Central governments should also consider emulating this gesture in offering jobs to the visually challenged chess aficionados. He said that his association has been training visually challenged youngsters in braille chess and so far around 200 players have been developed by the association.