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Visually challenged women voice problems
CHENNAI: Nandini, a voice for the deprived, a Chennai based NGO, organised a debate competition for visually challenged women at S..
CHENNAI: Nandini, a voice for the deprived, a Chennai based NGO, organised a debate competition for visually challenged women at Shastri Nagar, Adyar, on November 26, on the eve of World Disabled Day.
The objective of organising the programme was to provide an opportunity to the 22 participating visually challenged women to present their views and sensitise the society and government to some of the issues they face. Col. Krishnaswami, retired army officer, Prof A Vijaya Kumar, Professor of English, Presidency college and Mali Nandakumar, social activist, were the judges of the competition. Cash awards, braile watches and gift coupons were distributed.
The participants spoke on various issues. On hostel facilities available to them, they said that 90% of the visually challenged women were from the low income group and that they faced insecure conditions due to the lack of family support, particularly since the family members could not afford to support them. They desperately needed accommodation to live with dignity and in safe conditions.
Many women said that they were often teased in public places and some times even molested. They also said that they found it extremely difficult to commute and desperately needed assistance, particularly in bus stands and railway stations. A guidance counter exclusively for visually challenged persons would be immensely useful, they said.
The government has a scheme to encourage people to marry visually challenged persons and is providing them with a onetime allowance.
The participants felt that instead of the allowance, one of them could be given a job in the government according to their qualifications.
This would ensure that such marriages remained stable.
The women also informed that at the school level, only one braile book was being given to five to seven students and they had to share the same.
At the college level, braile books were not being given to students, making them depend on audio cassettes and readers.
The participants argued that when the government was taking pains to distribute dark glasses and walking sticks to the visually challenged, why was it not according equal importance to the task of distributing braile books immediately.
The women also discussed various other issues.
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