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Disability News India (DNI)

Disability News India (DNI), is a disability News service dedicated to providing a quality up-to-date information to the Indian Disability. DNI's news section is updated two times a week, though we also add breaking stories as and when they occur.

Disability News India – August 2011 Issue

Delhi University to provide Braille EVMs, ramps

New Delhi, Aug 31: Blind people can exercise their right to a secret ballot from now on. In order to make DUSU elections disabled–friendly, the university has decided to provide information on the Electronic Voting Machines (EVM) in Braille. Until last year, blind students voted with assistance from others. but that practice is going to be discontinued in the elections to be held on September 9.

The university also plans to make the polling booths more accessible with the installation of ramps.

"We want to make the entire election process more inclusive this time. The candidates' list is going to be provided in Braille. Besides, we will also put up ramps. We will be meeting all college principals in a day or two to apprise them of the development," said chief election officer, I Usha Rao. She said that her team will ensure that disabled students get an equal chance to cast their vote. The decision has been taken following the Supreme Court's 2005 order, which called for general elections to be made disabled–friendly.

Bipin Tiwari, deputy dean for disabled students, said, "The whole purpose of the secret ballot was defeated when blind people cast their votes with the aid of helpers. But now we are getting stickers made in Braille format." He added, "The Supreme Court order clearly mentions that there should be ramps at the polling stations, there should be no queues and the polling personnel should be sensitized. We are now trying to implement all this in DUSU elections." According to Tiwari, at least 400 students will benefit from Braille EVMs this year.

The process for filing of nominations is on till August 29. The nominated candidates are allowed to withdraw their names by September 1. The list of final nominations will be put up later that day. Voting will take place from 8.30am to 12.30pm in morning colleges and from 4pm to 8pm in the evening colleges. The code of conduct for the elections is being prepared but like last year, candidates will not be allowed to use printed posters for campaigning.

Source: http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/
Posted by Aqeel Qureshi

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Professionals working to create awareness about eye donation

Aug 31: A group of professionals employed with various multi–national firms has been working overtime to create awareness about eye donation so as to help blind people get their eye sight.

The group of professionals, aged between 30 and 40, are sacrificing their holidays to make arrangements for yet another campaign 'Fun for Vision' organised by the Niramaya Charitable Trust, an organisation led by city–based eye specialist Dr TN Ahooja.

"I have managed to get consent from my family to spend my holidays for this cause. On Saturdays and Sundays, all members and associates of the trust meet and work to add more people to the campaign and motivate more to donate their eyes," Virender Pankaj, who works as vice president of L&T Infrastructure.

Ruchin Chaudhary, an architect engineer from IIT–Kanpur, who lives in Delhi's Vasant Kunj area, travels to Gurgaon daily to reach his office here. But these days he travels to Gurgaon on weekends too.

"We are putting extra effort for the forthcoming campaign Fun for Vision, a carnival which we have planned on September 3."

The group has also created a page on the social networking website Facebook to create awareness. "We add new colour everyday on the page to spread the message," Chaudhary added.

The organisation has motivated thousands of people to donate their eyes after death. It has collected about 700 corneas and helped in providing eye sight to over 250 visually impaired people.

Source: http://www.hindustantimes.com
Posted by Aqeel Qureshi

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Professor invents virtual eye for blind people

CHENNAI, Aug 27: The days of blind people groping their way with the aid of white canes may soon be over. Thanks to an invention by an assistant professor in the city, blind people, especially children, can now travel alone in complete safety without any escort. Called the Virtual Eye, this wireless device helps a blind person navigate from point A to point B using voice guidance.

"This device is meant for blind children ," said B Amutha, the inventor of the virtual eye. An assistant professor and PhD scholar in computer science and engineering at SRM University , 46–year–old Amutha's invention is a giant leap on the GPS navigation system used in cars. "I built it as a part of my project for my PhD under the guidance of the university's vice–chancellor , Dr M Ponnavaikko."

Now all that a child has to do is program the device to take him/her from home to school, said Amutha. "Then the device, which is stuck on the child's belt, will issue instructions in a human voice ? turn left, take fifteen steps, turn right and take 5 steps and so on. It will also issue a warning if there is a wall or a moving vehicle in front of the person."

Source: http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/
Posted by Aqeel Qureshi

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HPU plans courses on disability issues

SHIMLA, Aug 29: To sensitize people on different issues and problems of disabled people and laws related to disability, the Himachal Pradesh University (HPU) is planning to launch courses on disability at its proposed centre for disabilities.

This was stated by VC of HPU, Prof A D N Bajpai, on Wednesday while participating in felicitation of talents with disabilities, `'Hoslon Ki Udaan'' programme of local welfare trust Umang Foundation, in association with HPU.

Bajpai said the centre would facilitate research and documentation in the field of disability and would also create mass awareness on issues of disability. The foundation felicitated 14 visually impaired athletes of Blind School, Dhalli who have won 11 gold and two silver medals in the National Blind Sports Meet held in Amritsar in 2010.

The foundation also instituted special merit scholarship for physically disabled student Akshay, who is pursuing PhD in English in HPU, as well as four visually–impaired students, besides providing assistive devices to them. Hearing and vision impaired students of Dhalli School as well as intellectually disabled girls from special school of Udaan showcased their singing as well as dancing skills during the occasion.

Source: http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/
Posted by Aqeel Qureshi

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Commercial use of school for disabled children under High Court scanner

Aug 24: The decision of the Latur municipal council to shift a school for disabled children and instead use it for commercial purposes has come under court's scanner.

The municipal corporation had allotted the premises to the Jeevan Vikas Prathistan Trust (JVPT), owned by former chief minister

Vilasrao Deshmukh, to run a school for deaf and mute children in 1981, but later allowed it to be used for commercial purposes during Deshmukh's tenure as chief minister in 2005.

The Bombay high court on Tuesday heard a public interest litigation filed by activist Vishal Yadav, who alleged that during Deshmukh's tenure as CM, the general body of the municipal council passed a resolution permitting commercial construction of shops on the plot measuring 5,130 sq feet and in 2006, the government allowed two floors for commercial use.

However, the JVPT, stated in its affidavit that the premises allotted to them to run a school for deaf and mute children was converted into commercial premises owing to paucity of funds for the trust's activities.

Senior counsel Mahesh Jethmalani, appearing for the petitioner, argued that the trust did so on the basis that the area is noisy and therefore the deaf and mute school should not be constructed there which was "absurd".

Jethmalani also pointed out that the second floor of the building was leased out to Deshmukh's son Amit, who was running the Vikas Co–operative Bank from the premises.

The affidavits filed by both Amit and Ramanuj Randad, secretary of the JVPT, state that the bank had bid for the premises after they were advertised in leading newspapers and the relationship between Deshmukh and his son had been raked for "oblique motives".

The trust's affidavit further states that under the lease deed between the municipal council and the trust, the council had the right to relax the condition in the lease deed with the approval of the state government.

The council had imposed a condition that the premises be used for a special school, the condition was, however, relaxed in accordance with the Maharashtra Municipalities (Transfer of Immovable Properties) Rules, 1983.

Randad states that there is nothing shocking about the request to the municipal council to relax the condition.

Stating that there was no question of using Deshmukh's influence, the affidavit has cited an audit report, which shows that it is due to inadequacy of funds that the JVPT was compelled to request the Latur municipal council to relax the condition of the lease deed dated October 25, 1994.

Source: http://www.hindustantimes.com
Posted by Aqeel Qureshi

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PSU bank in India refuses job to disabled people after selection

Nagpur, Aug 23: Manjunath Seshadri, a cerebral palsy architect from the Visvesvaraya National Institute of Technology (VNIT) and his father G M Sheshdari, a retired employee of irrigation department have been running from pillar to post for last three years seeking a job in public sector bank.

Despite all efforts and no positive results so far, they are continuing the fight to ensure that at least others in similar position are not denied their right by the government and the society.

After doing his B.Arch from VNIT in second division, Manjunath made efforts for job under quota reserved for disabled people but failed as many organizations just did not fill up posts for long time.

Source: http://articles.timesofindia.indiatimes.com
Posted by Aqeel Qureshi

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IGNOU plans training centre for deaf people

NEW DELHI, Aug 22: The Indira Gandhi National Open University (IGNOU) is planning to set up a sign language institute for deaf people and will organise seminars and workshops for their empowerment, a university statement said.

"The deaf adults should be able to go to the highest level for which we will be conducting activities in different parts of the country," said V.N. Rajasekharan, IGNOU vice–chancellor during a meeting with National Association of the Deaf (NAD) and All India Federation of Deaf (AIFD) for their views in setting up the institute.

The vice–chancellor also said that the IGNOU will on regular basis conduct meetings with these associations.

The central government recently approved the establishment of an Indian Sign Language Research and Training Centre (ISLRTC), initially on project basis for a period of five years, as an autonomous centre of the IGNOU.

Source: http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com
Posted by Aqeel Qureshi

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Himachal Pradesh cabinet expand schemes for persons with disabilities

Shimla, HP, Aug 21: Himachal Pradesh Cabinet in its meeting held here today decided to expand the scope of Integrated Scheme for Persons with Disabilities under 'SAHYOG' by making the same more beneficial to the eligible physically disabled persons and provide them better facilities of Scholarships, Vocational Training and enhancing Incentives for Marriage etc..

Funds shall be provided for research and development projects on disability down to block level through various organizations and NGOs besides Universities and Medical Colleges. It has been decided to enhance Scholarship amount to the eligible disabled people and provide Day Scholars scholarships ranging between Rs. 350 to Rs. 750 per month and Boarders Rs. 1,000 to Rs. 2,000 per month. The income limit to avail scholarship benefits has been enhanced from Rs. 60,000 to Rs. 2,5 lakh per annum to bring more people under the fold of the Scheme. Marriage incentives of disabled persons have also been enhanced substantially. Now marrying a disabled with 40 to 74 percent disability the spouse would get Rs. 15,000 instead of Rs. 8,000 as incentive and others with 75 to 100 percent disability the incentive amount has been enhanced from Rs. 15,000 to Rs. 25,000. In case of couple with disability both of them will be eligible to get the incentives. Outstanding NGO doing commendable job in the field will also be awarded a cash prize of Rs. 10,000 and a citation.

Prof. Prem Kumar Dhumal, Chief Minister, presided over the Meeting. It granted permission to recruit 1,293 JBT qualified teachers from 12 DIETs of the State and 20 Teachers Training Course qualified candidates from St. Bede's College of 2008–10 batch, as per the existing Recruitment and Promotion Rules and following the reservation roster including that for ex–servicemen, on contract basis.

It granted approval to construct Bus Stands at Rohru and Palampur with multi–storey parking and Shopping Mall under PPP Mode. In future the concession period in such projects would be 40 years.

It approved the proposal to exempt 'Aerial Rope Way' for 5 years from payment of Entertainment Duty from the date of commercialization and to reduce Entertainment Duty on Aerial Rope Ways from existing 25 percent to 15 percent besides bringing DTH under the ambit of Entertainment Duty.

It accepted the proposal to cancel allotment of the four Self Identified Mini Hydro Electric Projects for non–compliance of the laid down norms under the Power Policy of the State.

It also approved amendment in Section 26 in the Himachal Pradesh Excise Bill, 2009. It restored the 10 Bedded Hospital status to Government Ayurvedic Health Centre at Sulyali in tehsil Nurpur of district Kangra.

Source: http://nvonews.com
Posted by Aqeel Qureshi

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A solar powered vehicle for people with disabilities

Trichy, Aug 19: Five final–year engineering students of Periyar Maniammai University at Thanjavur have invented an eco–challenger (a solar–powered vehicle for disabled people), a product development aimed at improving the life of persons with disabilities.

The five students – Ramaseshan (team leader from Trichy) R M Hariraam (Coimbatore), D Vasanth (Chennai), M Muthuraman (Cuddalore) and M Vivek (Trichy) jointly designed this vehicle at a cost of Rs 32,000 earmarked by the university in order to encourage their innovative spirit outside their curriculum but as part of their project work.

Talking about the invention which is yet to be patented, the students said the 'eco–friendly vehicle' particularly meant for disabled people, was designed to overcome the effects of global warming and had the potential to substantially reduce air pollution. The battery can be recharged in two ways: using photo voltaic panel and external electric supply.

The students first participated in the Velammal Silver Jubilee Science Utsav–2010, and the real recognition came to them when the eco–challenger was the only project for the handicapped out of a total of 25 projects selected for the final presentation at Asia's largest tech fest held at IIT, Bombay. The prototype was also showcased at Mechaica Fair of the IITM, Chennai, and it was one of the nine projects selected, but the only working prototype made for physically disabled people.

Talking about the verve behind the project, Ramaseshan told TOI on Wednesday that they wanted to do something for the disabled people because his mother suggested him to use his knowledge to design a vehicle to enhance the lifestyle of a physically disabled person.

"We started collecting requirements of the people with disability in an attempt to facilitate mobility with available resources, that is, renewable solar energy in this case," he said. Incidentally, Ramaseshan happens to be the son of the district disabled welfare officer (DDAWO) R Shyamala's son, and the latter inspired in him a spirit to do something for disabled people.

The vehicle was test–driven by one Arumugam who said, "At first, we were driving using hand pedal, now it is easy to drive this solar powered motorised vehicle." Asked whether the vehicle skidded while driving, he replied in the negative. Nevertheless, the battery box was kept in front of the seat, and after the test drive it was taken under the seat.

Ramaseshan said that people at first warned him not to showcase the product before patenting, but we still went ahead because it is for a good cause. The five member team is very hopeful that it would be doing another project with BHEL in Trichy as part of their curriculum.

Source: http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com
Posted by Aqeel Qureshi

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Umang Foundation's scholarships for students with disabilities

Shimla, Aug 15: Umang Foundation, a Shimla–based public welfare trust, has instituted scholarships for meritorious students with disabilities belonging to poor families in of Himachal Pradesh.

It will be a first programme of its kind when on 24th August, 2011. Vice Chancellor of Himachal Pradesh University ADN Bajpai will give away merit scholarships to five such students, including four visually impaired, at a function in Himachal Pradesh University. The merit scholarship achievers are Akshay Kumar, Anil Kumar, Anisha, Billo Kumari and Bhawana. He will also honour 10 visually impaired students from the state who have brought laurels to Himachal Pradesh in national level blind sports meets.

Ajai Srivastava, chairman of Umang Foundation, said they take no financial assistance under any scheme of the government. Umang has been supporting the disabled in a big way and has a number of success stories in its credit.

Akshay Kumar, a severely paraplegic, is from a remote village Seul in Kangra district. It was the result of foundation's effort in 2007 when he got admission in MPhil in English in HP university under the 3% disability quota. This was the path breaking initiative of the foundation after which about half–a–dozen disabled students were given seats in MPhil. When he completed his MPhil with 65% marks, he was denied admission in PhD (Eng.) and ultimately the high court intervened in the matter to give him justice. Now, he is enrolled in PhD. The foundation will give him Rs 6,000 PM for three years to enable him to pursue his study.

Anil Kumar, a visually impaired merit holder BA student at Government College, Sanjoli, Shimla, will be given a scholarship of Rs 1,000 PM and a laptop. He belongs to a below poverty line family from Sirmour district and secured 75% marks in 10th and 12th class. He is an excellent athlete who won many gold medals for the state in national sports meets for the blind.

Three totally blind meritorious girl students from poor families, Anisha of Kandareri in Rampur Tehsil, Billo Kumari of Jhanduta in Bilaspur and Bhawana of Kotali in Mandi, got admission in Portmore School, Shimla, a leading government school due to the efforts of Umang Foundation. They had passed 10th in 1st division from a government institute for the blind in Sundarnagar. To protect their educational rights, Ajai Srivastava wrote a letter to the chief justice of Himachal Pradesh high court. The court treated it as PIL and issued notice to the government directing not to charge any fee from the blind girl students. The school was demanding Rs 48,600 from Srivastava as hostel and mess charges because he was the local guardian of the blind girls. The court has also directed the government to explain the state of the affair of disabled's education in the state.

Ajai Srivastava said that apart from the scholarships, the foundation will provide all the three blind girls with for CD Players, books in Braille and digital books to enable them to study smoothly. He said the funds for the scholarships and assistive devices have been mobilized from the society. From the next academic session, the foundation will provide more scholarships to the meritorious disabled students from poor economic background.

Source: http://www.himvani.com
Posted by Aqeel Qureshi

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National Museum holds workshop for disabled kids

New Delhi, Aug 11: A group of mentally disabled children presented a recital of songs and classical Indian dances at the National Museum here at a special workshop for disabled children.

The workshop will try to encourage disabled children to overcome their disabilities and tap the healing power of Indian performing arts to integrate with the social mainstream, said priest Thomas Felix, the founder of Thiruvananthapuram–based Central Institute on Mental Retardation (CIMR), whose students performed here.

The performance was so compelling that a couple of dancers were instantly offered a chance to join a team of Indian performers going to China soon by the director–general of the Indian Council for Cultural Relations (ICCR) Suresh K. Goel, who attended the inaugural ceremony.

The workshop, organised by the National Museum and a host of NGOs like CIMR and Cheshire Home, is an attempt by the museum to reach out to children as part of its outreach programme.

Around 200 disabled children from the national capital and Kerala are taking part in the workshop.

"Less ability among children does not mean that they are lesser human beings. They are as good as normal performers. From riding horses to playing the violin, singing, classical dancing and handicrafts, they are no longer disabled children, but disabled," Thomas said.

The workshop will help children develop their "motor skills, psycho, social, language and cognitive functions".

The National Museum has been trying to take culture and heritage out of the confines of institutional space and bring it to the people with several initiatives for the last one year.

Early this year, it set up its first People's Museum in Kerala and hopes to install at least 1,000 micro–level museums in schools and colleges across the country by 2012 to promote cultural awareness, cutting through all social segments

Source: http://twocircles.net
Posted by Aqeel Qureshi

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High Court issues notices to HP government on the rights of disabled people

Shimla, Aug 04: The Himachal Pradesh (HP) High Court today issued notices to the state government seeking details of steps taken by it to protect rights of disabled persons.

A division bench of Chief Justice Kurian Joseph and Justice Sanjay Karol issued notices to Secretary (Education), Secretary (Social Justice andEmpowerment), Director, Social Justice and Empowerment, Director (Education) and directed them to file reply within a month. The bench took suo moto cognisance of a letter written by Ajay Srivastav, president of Umang Foundation, seeking intervention of the Court for protection of rights of three visually impaired girls, studying in a government senior secondary school in Portmore area of Shimla.

The court further directed the respondents not to charge any tuition and hostel fee from the girl students who have been admitted to class XI in Portmore School.

The court also asked the principal to give details of the facilities provided to the three girls in the school, and fixed September 9 next as the date of next hearing.

Source: http://ibnlive.in.com
Posted by Aqeel Qureshi

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