BANGALORE: Have you come across authorities, who are supposed to provide succour for the deaf, but fail to turn up at a golden jubilee celebration the Association of the Deaf?
The Association of the Deaf, established in 1961, had invited Minister for Women and Child Development C C Patil, Minister for Large Scale Industries Murugesh R Nirani, BBMP Mayor Sharadamma and Director of the Department of Empowerment of Differently Abled and Senior Citizens Venkatesha Machakanur to attend its golden jubilee celebrations at ADA Rangamandiara, in Bangalore, on Wednesday.
Most guests, expected to lend a patient ear to people, failed to turn up; forcing hapless children and others to wait for over 90 minutes. Minister B N Bache Gowda turned up late and cited other commitments as an excuse for the delay.
Meanwhile, Director of the Department of Empowerment of Differently Abled and Senior Citizens Venkatesha Machakanur too found time to reach the venue nearly 105 minutes late. He tried to introduce himself to the organisers at Rangamandira but in vain. Neither Machakanur knew sign language nor the people there understood what he was trying to convey.
Without empathising with their inability, Machakanur returned to his office from the venue. “I had no courage to go to the stage since the function had already started. I thought it was not right for me to be seated on the dais,’’ explained Machakanur.
When questioned about the reason for the delay, he answered: “Some one told me that the function
would start late.’’
There have been several long-pending demands of the deaf people that have not been addressed. City Express asked the director about the demand for an exclusive college and the issue of non-issuance of certificates by doctors at government hospitals the director said: “One social organisation has been facilitating education for the deaf up to PUC. It had requested to be allowed to offer courses up to the degree level. I had already sent a proposal to the Government. I will also look into the demand for doctors at government hospitals to issue certificates for deaf people’’.
There was no explanation on the absence of Minister for Women and Child Development C C Patil. However, Bachche Gowda listened to the problems of the deaf. He felicitated 20 deaf persons, who had contributed towards the development of the Association of the Deaf.
Announcing Rs 1 lakh aid to the Association of the Deaf, Gowda assured them that he would visit the training institute shortly and extend a helping hand.
The association had submitted a memorandum to the state government in 1987 on the occasion of its silver jubilee demanding exclusive schools for deaf students at all district headquarters, a degree college in Bangalore, government jobs, appoint doctors at government hospitals to issue disability certificates. The association has also been demanding for separation of disabled welfare and women and child welfare departments. Twenty-five years has passed for them to get a hearing.