In a First, Himachal’s 9 blind girls get admission in Computer Course in ITI Sundernagar

SHIMLA– For the first time, girls with blindness in Himachal Pradesh have secured admission in the ITI at Sundernagar in a Computer course. Nine such girls are now pursuing one year course of Computer Operator and Programming Assistant (COPA).

The ITI was mandated to impart training to disabled youth, but blind candidates were never given admission in the institute. However, efforts of an NGO, Umang Foundation, made it possible.

Ajai Srivastava, chairman of Umang Foundation said that the blind girls from poor families who passed 12th class in first division from Portmore School, Shimla with the support of the foundation were motivated to join computer course. Unfortunately, no government institution in the state have facilities to impart training to the blind candidates. The Directorate of Technical Education, when approached by Srivastava, expressed their inability to provide admission to the blind girls as the Institute, established for the disabled, lacks necessary infrastructure.

He said, “We had prepared a PIL to get justice and before filing it in the High Court, got an assurance from Sanjay Gupta, Principal Secretary, Technical Education.” He took cognizance of NGO’s letter and ensured admission to nine blind girls.

“Anjna Devi, Nisha Thakur, Veena, Monika, Yahoda, Surdassi, Kamlesh, Poonam and Billo Kumari, all brilliant students who passed class 12th from Portmore School in first division. Now they have received a chance to persue job oriented computer course from ITI Sundernagar and have been provided hostel facilities in the government’s special school for blind and deaf girls. They will also get scholarship of Rs. 1000 per month. But right now, there are no computers with talking software and Instructor for blind students. The ITI has temporarily made arrangements for their training in central government’s Composite Regional Centre for the Disabled (CRC), Sundernagar,” said Ajai Srivastava.

He further added, “It was after the order of Himachal Pradesh High Court on his PIL in 2011, the government’s prestigious Portmore was opened for blind and deaf girls. Now four blind and 16 deaf girls are studying in the School. Umang Foundation is also sponsoring the education and hostel expenses of blind girls studying in local RKMV College after passing out from the Portmore School.”

Ajai Srivastava said that the computer education is a must for blind or visually impaired to make them employable in government and private sector and his organization is striving hard to make the government institutions open for them.

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