Blind World Magazine

Sightings from life of the unsighted.

August 05, 2005.
News Today, India.


Around 90 per cent of the visually impaired women belong to the lower income group and most of them are deprived of any family support in a substantive manner, found a survey conducted among them.

Many of them have graduate and post graduate degrees and also obtained training in teaching profession. Many of the nongraduate women have acquired skills like candle-making, tailoring, agarbathi making etc.

In spite of the qualifications and skills, most of the visually impaired women do not get any jobs, found the study. At present, it is reported that more than 600 of qualified women, visually impaired, are waiting for teaching jobs in government schools.

The survey was conducted by N S Venkataraman, trustee, Nandini Voice for the Deprived, a nonprofit organisation and assisted by V Annapoorni and V Nandini of the trust. The sample survey included 75 visually impaired women.

The survey said that ninety per cent of the visually impaired women prefer to marry only visually impaired men as they feel that the visually capable men will not prefer them. The study inferred that many such marriages involving a visually handicapped and a visually capable person have ended in failures leaving the children in a very bad condition. Due to poor economic and living conditions, such children could not be given proper education and most of them do not look after their parents adequately later on.

The study also found these women a frustrated lot as many of them feel helpless and sad in a world insensitive to their problems. They remain thoroughly disappointed at the government schemes and think that they have been left to deal with their problems without assistance.

In a press release detailing on the findings of the survey, the government was requested to revise their welfare measures for the visually handicapped.

A number of hostels should be constructed for the visually impaired women, all over the state. Their children, especially of those who live alone, should be provided with free education up to twelfth standard in government schools. Job openings have to be made in a very big way in appropriate fields for them, said the survey. The study put forth a few examples like exclusively allotting the functions such as announcers in railway and bus stations, telephone operators for them. The Government can also open exclusive shops where products made by the visually impaired women can be bought, kept and sold, which would open self employment avenues for them.

The release also urged society to be more sensitive and responsive to the needs of the visually impaired women and exhorted the better placed citizens to take up a proactive role in instilling confidence among the visually impaired.

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