The city Corporation, as part of its various welfare measures, distributed ‘talking’ computers and laptops to the visually challenged at a function on the Corporation premises on Thursday.
Minister for Social Welfare M.K. Muneer inaugurated the programme presided over by Mayor K. Chandrika.
In the first phase, those aged between 18 and 60, who had completed SSLC and had working knowledge of computers, were being selected as beneficiaries.
Out of the 19 applications received, ten eligible were selected. The project to distribute talking computers and laptops was started in 2012-13, but could not be executed owing to a clause in the guidelines, sources said.
“As per the original guidelines, the beneficiaries were supposed to pay 25 per cent of the cost of the computer. Since, the people for whom the project was planned were from the economically weaker sections, we could not get any beneficiaries then. So we had to change the guidelines and include it in the people’s Plan project for the financial year 2013-14,” said Palayam Rajan, chairperson of the Corporation’s Welfare Standing Committee.
As per the updated guidelines sanctioned by the government, the Corporation would provide 100 per cent subsidy on the computers. The new project of Rs.5 lakh was being implemented with the help of the Kerala State Handicapped Persons’ Welfare Corporation (KSHPWC) and the Kerala Federation of the Blind (KFB), sources said.
The laptops were being distributed through KSHPWC, which would provide training to the beneficiaries. The KFB was providing the ‘talking software.’