The high cost to pursue higher education is an often-major barrier among the visually impaired students especially amongst the ones hailing from the under-served communities. Further, career prospects remain elusive to them.
Recognizing the challenge to promote equity, merit, and inclusion in higher education, CF has collaborated with Help the Blind Foundation (HTBF) to institute the “Scholarship programme for visually impaired students” pursuing Under-Graduation/B.Ed. in reputed colleges and varsities with decent NAAC rating.
HTBF is a registered non-profit organization, based in Chennai, that awards merit-cum-means scholarships to Visually Impaired students for pursuing Graduation / Post-graduation courses in reputed colleges in India and enabling them to look for jobs in today’s economy.
Commenced in 2018-19 as a pilot, the programme currently supports 183 students in seven major cities with an academic scholarship covering the entire period of the programme.
Considering the importance of enhancing the students with employability and soft skills, the programme is reinstated with an add-on training component called EMET training (Education Mobility Employability Training). EMET training is designed for two years typically commences from the second year of the programme. The objective of the training programme is to empower visually impaired students through skill training in English communication and digital literacy; Interpersonal relationships through life and soft skills; overall holistic personality traits. 408 students are benefitted by EMET training.
The programme goal is to empower the visually impaired students to complete their education and motivate them to take up ‘well paid productive jobs’. The entire project is funded by the CF, implemented, and managed by HTBF. Enable India, Bangalore acts as a knowledge partner to HTBF in designing the course curriculum and other associated training materials. The respective host colleges provide the classrooms and other infrastructure support.
Cognizant Foundation believes this programme would go a long way in making the differently-abled students well educated and economically independent thus contributing towards the development of the country.