The three-day Visually Impaired Conference concluded at Faridkot in which visually impaired people from Punjab, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh and Chandigarh accused the government of violating their rights. Ashok Gupta, president of the visually impaired association, said, 'The government is not serious to solve the problems of visually impaired persons and is turning a blind eye to the real issues.'
Rajesh Mohan, convener of the North West Committee of Blind Federation, and a product of Home for the Blinds, Feozepur said, “Under Section 33 of the Act, one percent of the posts of teachers should be reserved for blind candidates. But the governments are denying appointments to the eligible visually impaired persons.”
Stating an example, he said that one Vinod Kumar an inmate of Ferozepur is waiting for appointment as Tabla Player, for the last six months despite being in the merit list. His appointment became due with the resigning of his senior but he is moving from pillar to post to get his due right, Mohan said.
In Punjab only, Mohan said, 182 posts of teachers (140 primary and 42 in high schools) for blind persons are lying vacant for a long time. “We will start an agitation if the government does not fill up the vacancies before March, 31 this year,” Mohan warned.
Jage Ram, convener of Himachal Pradesh chapter too expressed his concern over the poor condition of visually impaired people in the hill state due to insensitive approach of the government there.
Mohan also said that nine visually impaired people work as principals in nine colleges in Haryana. He regretted that there is none in Punjab. “The government has already identified 1901 jobs for blinds but the posts are yet to be filled while in Haryana most of the posts have been filled up,” Mohan informed.
The Blind Federation exhibited various technologies, which will end the social isolation of visually impaired, and make them self dependent to earn their livelihood, at the exhibition, held at Faridkot.