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Relief for deaf youth studying at Bengaluru technical training centre

Students of the Technical Training Centre for the Deaf in Bengaluru are heaving a sigh of relief. Authorities have decided to look at rehabilitating them after a petition against the move to demolish the centre won widespread support.

Some relief in sight for the 65 students residing at the Technical Training Centre for the Deaf (TTCD) at Shivajinagar in Bengaluru.

Bangalore Metro Rail Corporation Limited (BMRCL) authorities, who want to demolish the centre for a Metro station, have said they will start work only after the students are rehabilitated.

The rethink was triggered after an online petition #MakeOurFutureSound started by Pooja and Namrata Sharma highlighted the injustice of the decision. The petition garnered over 15,000 signatures.

After widespread outrage, the BMRCL came out with this press release explaining its stand and has offered to pay rent for an alternate building for the centre.

BMCRL has offered last year itself to the NGO (running TTCD) that the rent for the alternate building would be borne by BMRCL until the end of the academic year to enable students to complete their courses. It is learnt that the NGO has identified the building on rent and are in the process of shifting. BMRCL will start its work only after this Training Centre has been shifted to the new premises and would pay the rent till scheduled completion of the course of the current students - B L Yashavanth Chavan, Chief PRO, Bangalore Metro Rail Corporation Limited

For about 40 years now, the TTCD has been a lifeline for poor deaf students in rural Karnataka as well as other parts of south India. Asking them to leave with no alternative in sight was grossly unfair as the petition pointed out. Many well-known disability rights activists have backed the petition, which is being looked into by State Disabilities Commissioner V S Basavaraju as well.

"The petitioners came and met me about this and I am looking into the matter", said Basavaraju. "I have asked for some information about the matter and I also want to meet the parents of these students. I understand that the case is in the High Court and I want to see what we can do within the law".

BMRCL officials have pointed out that the land belongs to the municipal authorities and that the lease holder had sub-leased the land in violation of the agreement.

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