By Sumiya Shah
SRINAGAR: At a time when pellets fired by the government forces threatened the vision of hundreds of youngsters across the Valley and blinded many others like 14-year-old Insha Mushtaq, the visually impaired in Kashmir rued the state government’s indifference towards their plight. These special children raised their concerns at an event here on the World Braille Day. The event was organized by Jammu and Kashmir State Welfare Association of the blind (JKSWAB) in the auditorium of Sri Pratap College Srinagar.
A computer lab was dedicated to the special children on the occasion. “Students demand more accommodation but we don’t have sources to match their requirements. We need some computers, dormitory items, chairs besides the electricity and heating facility,” Auqib Ahmad, member of JKSWAB said while discussing the infrastructure at a facility dedicated to the blind children.
The association complained that the state government was ignoring the issues of the blind persons.
Nisar Ahmad, general secretary of JKSWAB told Kashmir Reader that the state government was not paying any attention towards the disabled persons. “If visually impaired persons can take an initiative for their welfare why the government is not able to take any step towards the betterment of the blind people. The government does not pay any heed to rehabilitate us,” he said.
The association is demanding that there should be at least one school in all districts where visually impaired children can study. “They need only one instructor who teaches the Braille,” he said.
Braille is of only six dots in a section of a scale or slate give to the persons with blindness to read and write. Braille can be taught only in 15 days or in a month and is a technique of education made it possible that blind people can read and write by feeling the raised dots on paper,” Nisar added.
Besides the requirements of basic infrastructure, the blind population in the valley is without monthly monetary support from April 2016.
“We have not received any amount of money from April 2016. In last budget the government announced to increase the monthly pension from Rs 400 to Rs 1000 to each visually impaired person, but from that day we don’t receive any amount neither Rs 400 nor Rs1000,” Auqib added.