Nine members of the College Students and Graduates Association of the Blind began an indefinite fast on Monday to draw the government’s attention to their demands, primarily job opportunities.

Over 300 visually impaired college students extended their support for the fast. “We want an appointment to meet Chief Minister Jayalalithaa to put forward our demands,” said R. Raja, a member of the association.

The association demanded that the government appoint 550 visually impaired graduates as BT assistants for Tamil, English and History and 200 postgraduates to the posts of PG assistants. “The pass percentage for determining eligibility in the Teachers Eligibility Test should be reduced to 40 per cent for visually impaired candidates. Currently, it is 60 per cent,” he said. The association also wanted appointment of visually impaired persons trained in music to the post of music teachers at government and government-aided schools.

Monthly assistance to unemployed visually impaired graduates should be increased from Rs. 450 to Rs. 2,000, they said.

The association also wants the two per cent reservation in employment for visually impaired persons to be properly implemented.

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