HYDERABAD:Visually-challenged people from various parts of the country, who gathered at a national conference on Right to Education Act (RTE) here on Sunday, made a unanimous demand for equal opportunities for blind students in education.
The participants, including noted educationalists, teachers and government employees, felt that education of blind students was being ignored by the central and state governments.
The All India Confederation of the Blind (AICB) organised the conference to discuss the problems faced by the visually challenged in the education sector. Experts from various states participated in it. Most of the participants demanded that RTE be implemented for visually-challenged students.
Delivering the keynote address, former chief commissioner for the disabled PK Pincha suggested that the government focus on three key solutions to improve education facilities for the visually challenged. He said the present welfare schemes for the disabled should be strictly implemented and new initiatives taken by governments. He also advised the government to supply advanced disabled-friendly gadgets to students in special schools to enable them to learn easily.
AICB general secretary and social worker JL Kaul appealed to the state government to improve the facilities at special schools, most which still depended on donations from philanthropists. He urged the government to sanction adequate funds to these schools.
Development and Welfare Association of the Blind (DWAB), which collaborated with AICB in organising the conference, sought support from the Telangana government to establish more special schools in the state under the ‘KG to PG Free Education Scheme’. P Chokka Rao, DWAB general secretary, asked the government to set up a special school in each district so that students from rural areas can benefit.
The recommendations made at the three-day national conference will be compiled into a report and submitted to the central government to frame new education policies for the disabled.
DyCM, Officials Give Event a Miss
All India Confederation of the Blind (AICB) members, who came from 13 states to participate in the national conference on RTE in Hyderabad, received a hurtful welcome as none of the chief guests including deputy chief minister Kadiyam Srihari and other top officials attended the event as they promised. Srihari was to be the chief guest on the inaugural day but he gave it a miss, citing ill health. Officials from the education and disabled welfare department also did not turn up.
This prompted JL Kaul to remark, “If they don’t even want to know our views, how can we expect them to solve our problems?” But the Development and Welfare Association of the Blind said the DyCm could not attend because of health problems and he sent MLC Sudhakar Reddy on his behalf.