It has been the Confederation's continuing endeavour to provide women opportunities for adequate participation in all of its on-going educational, training and rehabilitation activities. Besides, the Confederation conducts the following special programmes exclusively for the benefit of visually impaired women.
For the past two decades, the Confederation has been running a scheme of providing merit scholarships to visually impaired students pursuing under-graduate, post-graduate and B.Ed. courses. These scholarships are awarded to meritorious students in all states barring the Southern states, Maharashtra and Goa. The value of scholarships ranges from Rs. 1000 to Rs. 1500 p.m. Selection of candidates is finalized by a Committee chaired by the senior officer bearers. The Scheme is sponsored by 'Marga Schulze Foundation/CBM', Germany.
AICB Women's Committee has been active throughout the year and through CBM support, the Confederation was able to provide merit scholarships of a total of Rs.2,65,94,082/- upto December, 2021 to as many as 2373 visually impaired girls across the country.
Intensive Training Course For Visually Impaired Women
The Confederation has been conducting Intensive training courses for the benefit of visually impaired girls for last several years. Majority of these courses have been sponsored by Marga Schulze Foundation, Germany. They are imparted intensive practical training and theoretical instructions in home management, basic stitching, mobility, computer applications, self-defence techniques and leadership skills. Trainees from India, Pakistan, Nepal and Sri Lanka participated in these training programmes. For last two years due to Covid-19 pandemic, this training programme could not be conducted.
In yet another effort to provide equality of opportunities for visually impaired women, the Confederation has launched a scheme under which a magazine titled 'Mahila Manch' is brought out in Hindi language and Mrs. Sushila Nagpal is the Editor of the magazine.
DVBS/CBM Supported Hostel for Blind Girl-Students/trainees
Run with the support of DVBS/CBM, Germany, the Hostel provides board, lodging and reading material free of cost to college going blind girls as also girl-trainees of the Confederation's vocational courses. Over 55 visually impaired girls benefit from this hostel Scheme each year.
AICB women leaders, particularly Ms. Muthu Selvi (Vice President), Ms. Gauri Sen (Secretary) and Ms. Manjula Rath (Chair, Women's Matters) conducted several useful webinars on various issues related to visually impaired girls and women. Some of these are:
- Challenges of Covid-19: Mental Health and Well-being among the visually impaired girl-students.
- Critical issues of mental and emotional health since the imposition of lockdown.
- Genetic Counselling
- Handling social media platforms using screen readers (Facebook, Twitter and YouTube)
- Maintaining health and hygiene during the menstrual cycle.
- Banking facilities for the visually challenged.
- Provisions of RTI Act and how to file online RTI application.
- Reproductive health.
In addition, a research study titled "Challenges of Covid-19: Mental Health and Well-being Among the Visually Impaired" was conducted under the able guidance of Dr. Preeti Kapoor and Mrs. Manjula Rath.