Chennai: College Students and Graduates Association for Blind functioning in Thakkar Bapa Vidyalayala at Venkatanarayana Road at T Nagar in the city creates a platform for special people.
With over 2,800 members across the State, the forum helps them get scholarships, employment and training in areas like craftsmanship. Very recently, its anniversary was celebrated at Nandanam Arts College.
Treasurer, R Muniappan said,”It all happened in 1980 when S S Kannan, retired Superintendent Engineer of Tamilnadu Electricity Board, incepted the body with a desire to assist the visually challenged people.”
“With his guidance, we have crossed three decades and several thousands were enrolled here,” he added.
How do the organisations help its members? “We provide scribes for reading books, i-pads and arrange training sessions for deserving college students and graduates within our criteria of eligibility. Through sponsors and donors, they receive scholarships,” he said.
“Many such students are now employed in corporate, factories and workshops as software professionals, technicians and craftsmen. One of the big achievements we reached was allotment of 20 minutes break per every hour for visually challenged students during public examinations,” he added.
Over 500 members are now working in government departments due to our continuous representation, pointed out Muniappan who is serving as lecturer in Nandanam Arts College.
Do they get the prescribed quota in education and employment? “No” is the answer. “One per cent is prescribed by government both in private and public bodies but many ignore and deny opportunities for people like us,” he said.
“But we have not given it up and represent the matter and helps the visually challenged in many cases,” he continued. About future plans, he said, “All these years we were in rented premises and now we have bought our own land at Irungattukottai where our office would be constructed.”
“We need material assistance for the same,” he concluded. The forum functions in a democratic way and elects its office bearers for every two years.
They can be reached at 97898 89195.