Staff Reporter

KOCHI: A national resource centre for the visually handicapped and hearing impaired was opened here on Saturday by Daniel Acharuparampil, Archbishop of Varappuzha.

The centre has been set up under the aegis of the Ernakulam Social Service Society (ESSS), Ann Foundation, U.S., and the Kerala Federation of the Blind. It is expected to fill the gap in the area of taking care of the visually handicapped and hearing impaired and their rehabilitation.

The resource centre will strive to provide state-of-the-art training and education. There is need for trained personnel in the field. They need to be in touch with the latest methods and research in treatment, care and community-based rehabilitation, said a communiqué from the centre.

It is estimated that there are about 20.54 million disabled people in India, representing two per cent of the population. The Central Government has made a commitment to people with disabilities through the enactment of the People With Disability Act. It has also established the Rehabilitation Council of India and the National Handicapped Finance Development Corporation.

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