Counselling programmes should be organised regularly for imbibing confidence in the minds of parents of special children to confidently face the reality, said Collector T. Soundiah here on Saturday.

Speaking at a function to inaugurate the training centre for special young adults established jointly by the Organisation for Rehabilitation of the Blind in Tiruchi (ORBIT) and Siragugal – Special Children's Parents Association Tiruchirapalli (SPAT) at the former's premises for the benefit of the special children, Mr. Soundiah said that in addition to the training imparted to the hapless children, the parents should be given proper counselling.

Unfortunately the parents of special children fail to understand the talents their less fortunate wards possess. They are also worried about the their future. The organisations involved in rehabilitation of special children should concentrate in this aspect, he said.

Commending both the ORBIT and SPAT for launching this facility, which will enable in imparting specialised training to the special children in the making of arecanut leaf plates, Mr. Soundiah said of late many forums are coming forward to extend support for the activities aimed at the rehabilitation of special children world over. Many industrial giants and top business tycoons such as Bill Gates of the Microsoft have turned towards the third world countries such as ours to support such children. This was besides the initiatives of the government and this augured well for the whole society.

Mr. Soundiah said that organisations such as ORBIT, which won the State government's best institution award for serving the physically challenged this year, and ‘Vidivelli,' which won a similar award last year, and other likeminded organisations have brought laurels to the district.

P. Gnanadurai Michael, formerly consultant for Asia, Christoffel Blinten Mission (CBM) International, and advisor, ORBIT, said that such an initiative would go a long way in creating confidence among the special children and their parents and enable them shun inhibitions. He said that arecanut leaf plates have a good demand and a Salem-based firm has come forward to take care of the marketing of the whole produce. He pleaded for sales subsidy from the government for the marketing of the same.

P. M. Shafi, advisor, ORBIT, explained the various achievements of ORBIT and the efforts launched to rehabilitate the differently abled.

R. Shyamala, District Disabled Rehabilitation Officer, Vijay Kant, Chief Manager, Parivaar, NFA, Bangalore, and P. R. Pandi, president, ORBIT, offered their felicitations.