Volume 1 Issue 7 - December 01, 2003

Blind meet Kalam, wait for government action

DNIS News Network -- A delegation demanding government jobs in Haryana for the visually handicapped meets the President of India.

A blind man's most important friend in India is a cop. An account of the exactly two month-old blind men's agitation demanding government jobs in Haryana is a story of how much the visually handicapped count on the cops.

The cops were no doubt doing their duty but they did it with tenderness showing sensitivity to a blind person's difficulties. At the site of a demonstration in Chandigarh, it is the UP cops who are at hand to help the agitators, including arranging loudspeakers for raising slogans.

In Haryana also during the 10-day march by 11 members of the Haryana Netrahin Jagriti Sangh, it was the policemen who took care of the marchers. One gentleman, a 53-year-old head constable, overwhelmed the marchers by walking with them from Barwal to Ambala, a distance of over 25 km. In Delhi too, the cops came to their rescue. When Delhi's formidable army of politically correct people were cosying up in the warm interior of their houses, it was the cops of the Parliament Road police station who used to take the blind agitators to Bangla Sahib Gurdwara.

After reaching Delhi on November 19, the protesters had to wait for eight days before they could finally meet the President of India, Mr A.P.J. Abdul Kalam, who received them at the Rastrapari Bhawan on November 27. The President charmed them by his simplicity. "Never before had a President of India spent so much time with a delegation of blind people," Mr S.H. Shukla, a middle-aged visually impaired man, who is an employee in the Haryana Legal Remembrancer's office and associated with the Sangh as Legal Adviser, claimed.

The President patiently listened to the demands of the delegation, including the legitimate demand of filling of vacancies reserved for handicapped candidates. He promised to bring the issue to the notice of the Prime Minister as well as the Chief Minister of Haryana.

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