Staff Reporter

Doctor Bhuyan is going through the pains of unemployment

‘88 per cent of lecturers’ posts in special schools for blinds are lying vacant’

State blamed for faulty implementation of reservation policies

BHUBANESWAR: Prashant Bhuyan, the first visually handicapped (VH) person from Orissa to obtain a doctoral degree from the prestigious Jawaharlal Nehru University, is now a disgruntled man.

After overcoming all kinds of adversities to achieve this success, Dr. Bhuyan is going through the pains of unemployment. He is preparing to leave the State to sustain himself.

Thanks to Orissa Government’s insouciant approach, educated visually handicapped persons, who should have been given priority in rehabilitation programmes, have been pushed to the brink.

“Can you believe tht we have so far produced only 30 lecturers ever since the policy to rehabilitate visually handicapped population was pursued in the State 30 years ago? Out of 200 teaching staff in Utkal University, none of them is visually impaired,” rued Dr. Bhuyan, who is a senior member of Orissa Association for the Blind (OAB).

Workshop

Speaking on the sidelines of a workshop on Education for all children with visual impairment here on Tuesday, he said the State Government came out with its first circular reserving one per cent of total jobs for this category in 1978 and subsequently increased it to three per cent in 1981.

“Where have the jobs earmarked for VH students vanished? Government is responsible for restricting the mission of mainstreaming the special category students,” Mr. Bhuyan charged.

Agreed OAB General Secretary Sanyas Kumar Behera. “Let alone absorbing VH people in jobs, the government machinery has failed to provide basic infrastructure for us to attain minimum education level.

About 88 per cent of lecturers’ posts in special schools for blinds are lying vacant,” Mr. Behera said.

They blamed faulty implementation of reservation policies by government for the present situation.

Reserved posts

So far the State Government was claiming to have reserved posts department wise for blinds. “Every year, vacancy positions are advertised. But these are not enough number of posts to incorporate us,” Dr. Bhuyan said. Government should maintain separate 100-point reservation roster registers for the VH people, OAB demanded.

Speaking on the occasion, State commissioner for persons with disabilities, Mona Sharma said, “we have started dialogue with industries and impressed upon them to come out with a statement that how many posts they could offer for VH people. We will frame vocational training for them accordingly.”