The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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NGO lines up massage course for jobless blind

Dec. 1: To help visually impaired students become self-reliant, Taru's Creative Craft (TCC), a voluntary organisation, is going to introduce free classes of massage therapy at the Government Blind School in the city.

Assam social welfare minister Gautam Roy will inaugurate the course at a function to be held at the school at Basistha on December 4.

TCC president Taru Baruah Deb said though classes would commence from December 4, they would be held regularly only from January after annual examinations are over. She added that classes would be held thrice a week. Regional head of Action Aid P.K. Pincha has promised to translate the lessons into Braille for the convenience of the students, she added.

The NGO will impart training on the various massage therapies to students of of eight, ninth and tenth standards.

Deb said the aim of her organisation was to evaluate the residual capacities of a disabled person and guide him towards securing and holding gainful employment, thus enabling them to live an independent, productive and respectable life.

In keeping with that aim, the trainees will be given placement assistance on completion of their courses.

'We will formally request deputy commissioner of Kamrup (metropolitan) A.K. Absar Hazarika to make it mandatory for beauty parlours in the city to employ at least one physically disabled beautician to enable them to stand on their own feet and lead a respectable life,' she said. 'For blind students we will start with the course on massage therapies as this skill will be relatively easy for the students to acquire. We have plans to introduce other employment-oriented courses later.'

Deb is a beautician herself and has undergone training at Morris Institute in the United States, a hair styling course at London's Aland School and a skin therapy course in Bangkok.

A team of professional beauticians will conduct the classes under her guidance.

Deb said the course would be sponsored by Avni-India, a herbal product manufacturer.

She said the NGO is also planning to set up a training institute for the physically disabled in the city.

The organisation is also conducting similar courses at the Government Deaf and Dumb School at Kahilipara and around 50 students are being imparted training in different massage therapies and beauty courses.

Such vocational courses are expected to open up employment avenues for the physically challenged.

It may be recalled that the blind students had launched an agitation demanding employment.

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