Bengaluru Police evict protesting blind students

Bengaluru Police evict protesting blind students

Police evict blind students from VV Toweron Tuesday. DH PHOTO/ANUP RAGH T

Blind students holding a peaceful protest for laptops promised under a government scheme were evicted by the police on Tuesday. 

The students, part of the state youth wing of the National Federation of the Blind (NFB), had launched an indefinite protest at the office of the director of the Department for the Empowerment of Differently Abled and Senior Citizens at VV Tower in central Bengaluru. Police, however, moved them to the Ashoknagar hockey ground in no time. 

The scheme for the distribution of free laptops to all class 10 and college-going visually challenged students was launched in 2014-15. 

Veeresh, coordinator, State Youth Committee, NFB Karnataka, said: “Due to the reluctance of the state government as well as administrative and procedural complications, the laptops were distributed only in 2015-16 and 2017-18 financial years. Both the times, it happened as a result of our protest.” 

K Leelavathi, the director of the department, said the scheme was stopped last year owing to the model code of conduct before the general election. “There was no delay from the department’s end. As soon as we got an approval for 482 computers loaded with the required software (for the visually impaired), we called the tenders. Now, after approval from the technical committee and many other steps, a work order can be issued. Many other authorities are involved in the decision-making. I cannot assure that the work order will be issued before March 15 which is the last day for the treasury to function before the closure of this financial year,” she told DH