Visually-challenged youths cry foul over jobs

8 Sep

BHUBANESWAR: With the Government going for recruitment of 26,000 siksha sahayaks across the State, some visually-challenged youths on Saturday alleged that fraudulent measures were being adopted by the School and Mass Education Department to deny jobs to them.

�The youths, under the banner of All-Orissa Students’ Union of the Visually Impaired, said that visually impaired unemployed youths interested in teaching posts should not be denied their due share of one per cent quota.

�They said, according to an affidavit filed by department Secretary Aparajita Sarangi in the Orissa High Court on August 5, there are 131 posts reserved for� visually impaired candidates out of 323 posts reserved for candidates with� disabilities for shiksha sahayak posts.

�“The eligibility for the posts has been� BSc with BEd whereas, one cannot find any blind science graduates in the State because there is no provision for blind students to study science at graduation level,” said association secretary� Lekharam Bhoi at a press meet here. The science colleges in the State lack special labs, trainers and other infrastructure for the blind students. “Under these circumstances, only some unscrupulous� persons with fake disability certificates can manage to get appointment as shiksha sahayaks in this category and genuine cases will be ignored,” he said.

�Earlier, in 2006, the High Court had directed the department to issue instructions to the collectors for recruitment of blind persons as siksha sahayaks in reserve vacancies. Accordingly, the then joint secretary of the department, Trilochan Pati, had issued instructions to appoint untrained blind persons as siksha sahayaks and to provide them in-service training within three years of their appointment. Accordingly, hundreds of blind persons were appointed as siksha sahayaks.�� Demanding that there should be relaxation in qualification for the blind candidates, the association members said most of them were untrained and do not have a science or training degree.

�They also lamented that the State Talking Books Centre, set up on the premises of State Institute for Rural Development (SIRD), has been functioning just on pen and paper. It has no library facility, labs, classrooms, Braille textbooks and teacher training equipment.� “Though the State Government is pumping in funds for the Centre, they are being embezzled,” the association secretary alleged.

�Seeking the Government’s intervention,� the association members said they would stage a dharna on September 13 at the Secretariat over the issues.

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