Despite arrests,weak health & bitter cold, blind youths in Bhopal continue with protest

Over 100 blind youth from across Madhya Pradesh have been protesting in Bhopal for nearly a month now demanding better jobs, educational facilities and pension,

Braving the bitter cold, they have been protesting in the open at Neelam Park, refusing to back down. They were even arrested but once released from custody they were back. On Saturday, four of them, who were on an indefinite fast, were even admitted to Hamidia Hospital, while and the rest were taken to the Central Jail from where they were released.

The blind youths say they will not end their protest until their demands are met with. The agitation is being carried out under the banner of Drishtihin Berojgar Sangharsh Samiti Madhya Pradesh for the past 28 days.

The protesters are accusing the state government of not implementing a 2013 high court order that has apparently directed the social justice department to fill 22,668 posts with disabled people.

They allege that while some posts were filled with disabled persons following the court order, fake disability certificates were used to give job to people who had political connections.

Among the protestors are many Industrial Training Institute graduates as well as post-graduate diploma holders in computer application, who have no jobs.

They are also asking that the Rs 300 allowance that is given to the blind under the Social Security Pension Scheme was too little and that it be increased to at least Rs 1,500 a month.

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