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Kerala government launches projects to empower visually impaired people

Posted in General

The government of Kerala is joining hands with NGO’s and groups for welfare
of visually impaired people in the state. Reports point out that Kerala has a
large number of visually impaired people. Hence, it is very important to
promote schemes and programmes for their welfare. One of the pioneer projects
that have been launched is the Kazcha Project which is done
in collaboration with the Kerala Federation of the Blind.

The project aims to provide smart phones to over 1000
visually impaired people
in the state. All the smart phones will have
the latest applications which will also be accessible. Net
banking, location identifiers, latest news apps, mails and even
will be installed in the mobiles. The government of Kerala
has identified over 60 trainers to teach visually impaired
people on how to use these smart phones and benefit from the latest
technologies. A two day training class will also be held for

B Anil Kumar is the Chief Trainer of the ‘Kazcha
. He has been instrumental in providing specifications for
smart phones. Kumar, who works with a bank in Kerala, says that the
government has been reaching out when needed. In fact, Kumar and a team of
visually impaired people had visited Kerala Finance Minister Thomas
last year to discuss about the plan. They had included 300
beneficiaries and requested for an amount of Rs 40 lakh. But Issac, who was
impressed by the idea, decided to cover 1500 beneficiaries to
make it an Rs 1.5 crore project.

It is high time that visually impaired people get a grip of the latest
technologies so that they know what is happening around them. Most of the
visually impaired people are unaware of technological advances like screen
reading that can be of great help to them. It makes them overcome many
difficulties. They will also be taught how to use mobile applications that
can be of day to day help. Currently, we have 1300 applications from which
we have to choose eligible beneficiaries. This is indeed a big social
change-Anil Kumar, Chief Trainer, Kazcha Project

‘Kazcha Project’ has already been inaugurated last week by Social
welfare minister K K Shailaja
. Each district will be provided with
at least three master trainers and six other trainers who will impart
knowledge about smart phones to the beneficiaries. The government will look
into few criteria’s before identifying the beneficiaries. Like for
instance, a visually impaired person who has below Rs 1 lakh income will be
eligible for the project. Also, students and women will be given priority.
Those who are between the age group of 18 to 50 years can also benefit from
the project.

Husna Ameen is one of the trainers who are part of the

“This project has been initiated by the Social Justice Department of the
Kerala government to make the state disabled friendly. Smart phones have a
great deal to do with blind and visually impaired people. Blind people are
mostly ignorant about technological advances. Since these smart phones have
special features, it will be of great help. They have added updated mobile
applications in the phones”, says Husna.

‘Kazcha Project’ is already getting thumbs up from people in the disabled
community. At the same time, the state government is collaborating with the
Thiruvananthapuram Regional Institute of Ophthalmology (RIO)
to reach out to visually impaired people. The project named
Punarjyothi will help to rehabilitate visually impaired
people and help them lead a normal life. This project is going to be a great
blessing to visually impaired people from economically backward families. The
beneficiaries will have to undergo an eye test after which the doctors will
recommend the best treatment for them which will be free of cost.

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