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Job-linked school for disabled

The state government has decided to set up an industrial training institute (ITI) in the city exclusively for the physically challenged.

The ITI, the first of its kind in the state, will be housed in the Calcutta Technical School complex on S.N. Banerjee Road. Technical education officials said initially the ITI will have 500 seats and the number will be increased later to meet the demand. Officials added that all the formalities were over and construction will start within a month.

The ITI will offer mostly job-oriented short-term courses so that youths will either be able to land a job or become self-employed by completing the course.

Apart from the usual civil, electrical and mechanical streams, other subjects to be taught include electrical wiring, servicing automobiles, electronic equipment maintenance and servicing, radio repairing, carpentry, draftsmanship, interior decoration, horticulture and floriculture.

“The subjects have been designed keeping in mind the students’ physical ability. There are several physically challenged persons with different organ failure. We are making arrangements so that everybody gets an opportunity to be trained there,” said A.K. Ganai, joint secretary, technical education department.

Technical education minister Mohammed Selim said the government move was aimed at helping physically challenged people find employment.

The government decision follows pressure from handicapped persons demanding jobs. Paschimbanga Rajya Pratibandhi Sammilani, the only organisation of physically challenged persons, has organised several agitations and submitted memoranda to chief minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee, demanding reservation in educational institutions and jobs.

“Though reservations in educational institutions for handicapped persons have been ensured by the government, it is not followed in many cases,’’ said Sunderbans development minister and president of the Sammilani Kanti Ganguly.

He said the government had already made an appeal to all the government and private establishments to employ physically challenged persons. “There are several jobs that can easily be performed by handicapped people, he added.

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