MP: A Beacon Of Hope For 15 Blind Children Faces Imminent Closure

MP: A Beacon Of Hope For 15 Blind Children Faces Imminent Closure

The building, built years ago, is on the verge of collapse, with students feeling insecure even while performing daily activities.

FP News ServiceUpdated: Saturday, March 16, 2024, 06:39 AM IST
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Alirajpur (Madhya Pradesh): Established in 1984 as the first tribal blind rehabilitation centre in the state, the Chandrashekhar Azad Rehabilitation Centre in Alirajpur district has been a beacon of hope for visually impaired students. However, today it faces a dire situation. The only blind rehabilitation centre in the district, it accommodates visually impaired students who are forced to live, sleep and eat under the roof of a dilapidated building.

The centre, which once had more than 50 visually impaired kids, now struggles with a mere 15 kids due to the lack of facilities and the deteriorating condition of its rooms. The building, built years ago, is on the verge of collapse, with students feeling insecure even while performing daily activities.

Despite the challenging conditions, the students are compelled to walk two kilometres to school through traffic-filled roads, as neither the administration nor the government has taken steps to address the issues. The maintenance amount provided by the social justice department, a mere Rs 1,000 per student, has not been increased for the last decade. This amount is insufficient to cover the children's maintenance, electricity bills and stationery. The centre relies heavily on public support for building maintenance and other facilities.

Institute offers free education and mathematics training

It stands out as the only institute providing mathematics education up to class 10 for blind students. While other institutions often focus on teaching music, this institute is dedicated to imparting mathematical skills, ensuring a holistic education for its students. The institution offers free education to blind rural and tribal students, aiming to empower them with skills and knowledge for a brighter future. Apart from mathematics, it also focuses on vocational training, including handloom work, self-employment and rehabilitation programmes. This comprehensive approach aims to integrate blind students into society by providing them with the necessary education and skills.

35 students in 2019

Before 2019, there were 35 blind children enrolled, but this number has since decreased to just 15. Efforts are being made to increase enrollment from districts like Khargone and Barwani to ensure the institute's sustainability and impact. Established a decade ago, the centre initially increased maintenance fees from Rs 525 to Rs 1,000 per child, a necessary step to ensure quality care and support. However, the lack of subsequent increases has left the centre grappling with a paltry sum of Rs 15,000 to manage the needs of all 15 children and cover organisational expenses.

Efforts on to raise maintenance amount

Efforts are underway to increase the maintenance amount and address the centre’s recognition, which currently falls under Indore rather than Alirajpur district. Without immediate intervention, the centre faces the risk of closure, jeopardising the education and future of blind students in the region. When contacted, Abhinav Dandekar, an institute instructor, expressed concern over the meagre maintenance amount provided by the social justice department. He emphasised the importance of public cooperation in managing building maintenance and providing bedding for the children. Similarly, GP Aggarwal, district nodal officer, social justice department, Alirajpur, stated that efforts will be made to increase the amount of maintenance received by the children and transfer the centre's recognition to Alirajpur district.

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