The National Association for the Blind (NAB), Karnataka Branch, which is in service of the blind since 1977, has taken up range of projects and services for imparting education, training, placement and general welfare of the visually impaired, hearing impaired as well as deaf and blind persons.
The institution set up in Mysore began functioning in 1989 and till now has successfully completed providing training to 21 batches while the classes for the 22nd batch are currently going on. Till date 495 blind and deaf candidates have been trained and about 75 per cent are already provided with employment in selected areas where they can work effectively.
The institute provides training in archery, bird watching, rifle shooting among various other kinds of training for the physically challenged students that includes electrical wiring, repairing home appliances, assembling serial sets, operating injection moulding machine. The rifle training will be provided by Police Armed Reserve personnel.
Even operating heavy machineries like lathe, drilling machine, power axe, saw are taught depending on the individual's ability to handle them. ITI courses in Fitter, Screen Printing, Transformer Coil winding, math making and Optics are also being offered for the students.
All the tools are kept for display in a board to show case with their names written both in Braille language and normal writing (both English and Kannada) for the benefit of the blind and the deaf respectively. By reading the Braille and feeling the tool in their hands, students can understand what tool they are using.
Speaking to Express, Workshop Manager R Muniraju, said that as economic rehabilitation of these physically challenged students is the main concern of the Institute, students marks are announced with only percentage and not declared as pass or fail.
Students Naveen and Prahlad expressing in sign language said that 'the courses are very interesting and find difficulty in filing Karta. We learn the skills being taught here with dedication.'
Puneeth Kumar who is suffering from multiple disorders is the best student of the year. The teachers have found extremely difficult to teach him in the beginning, but worked hard without giving up hope. Now the instructors are happy for successfully teaching a student with multiple disorders.
'As a safety measure all the cutting machines and lathes are fitted with a warning buzzer. If by any chance a student's hand enters the danger zone of the machine, the buzzer gets activated and begins to sound an alarm. Alerted by this the student immediately comes back to safety zone', explained Instructor Srinivas.
A pass in SSLC is necessary for visually challenged to get admission in the Institute and they must also be aware of the Braille language, while sign language is must for the hearing impaired. The candidate should be in the age group of 17-25 years. Admission is free and Rs 250 stipend will be provided every month for learners.
The courses have been approved by the State Council for Vocational Training undertaken by the GoK. Three tests will be held in a year followed by a final exam. A social service organization, Sri Sai Seva Samithi, has been providing mid-day meals for the students for the past 21 years.
There is one instructor for every six students and a total of four instructors are here along with a Manager and Clerk. Interacting with students for the past 22 years, the Instructors here have mastered their sign language to perfection and communicate with them quite easily.