‘The trained candidates will be employed by Naturals group of health clinics’

Young men and women with visual impairments will soon be trained in reflexology, a form of therapy involving the application of pressure to the feet and hands.

A job-oriented course was launched on Saturday, at the National Institute for the Visually Handicapped in Poonamallee, under which the institute will admit 10 candidates every month for training. The trainees will be residents at the institute and will also be paid a stipend.

For the visually impaired, this is another opportunity that ensures jobs, said I. Arivanandham, regional director of the institute. “The candidates who receive the training will later be employed by Naturals group of health clinics, who are also sponsoring the trainers. Every month we will admit students in the 20-30 year age group, and the training will be given by a person from the salon,” he said.

According to him, a trained reflexologist can expect a salary of Rs. 8,000 and another Rs. 4,000 as perks. The course was launched by Minister of state for social justice and empowerment, D. Napoleon.

The institute also dedicated a building for the training of special education teachers. It runs a B.Ed. programme affiliated to the Tamil Nadu Teacher Education University and approved by the Rehabilitation Council of India. “We plan to expand the programme to offer M. Ed. courses soon,” Dr. Arivanandham said.

The institute has also sought funds to expand its Braille division by adding more machines. At present, there are two machines with a capacity to print around five lakh pages a month but the demand for Braille material is around 15 lakh pages every month.

“We have asked minister Napoleon to provide us Rs. 1.25 crore to buy two more machines but we would still not be able to meet the demand,” he added. The institute also proposes to expand the Braille library to include books in all languages.

More In: Chennai