Education and employment of the blind: the case of West Bengal

Sanyal, Bikas C.
Ramakrishna Mission Ashrama (India)
IIEP Research Report, 55
136 p.

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The study was conducted with the support of the (IIEP), of the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA) and of the Norwegian International Agency for Development (NORAD). There were in India in 1981 at least 9 million blind people. To develop knowledge about the potential productive capacity of the blind, one must study what sort of jobs and training are more suitable for them, how can their transition from training to employment be facilitated, how to establish contacts between training institutions and the employers. The study should also consider the role of stop-gap jobs, or the extent to which training actually helps the blind in getting a job. Further must be studied the types of employment which the blind get, the attitudes of co-workers on the job, and a number of otherfactors. The scope of the study was limited to blind individuals who had receivedsome kind of training and also to one state of India, West Bengal, where there are nine schools for the blind. It also includes an analysis of the perceptions of the employers and of a group of untrained blind persons who live by begging. The overall conclusion of the studybeeing that provision of education and gainfulemployment opportunities are the only way to improve upon the social status of the blind.