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HindustanTimes Thu,28 Aug 2014

Mumbai : BMC rejects Keller Institute plea to use Byculla school

HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times  Mumbai, September 18, 2013
First Published: 08:58 IST(18/9/2013) | Last Updated: 09:02 IST(18/9/2013)

The civic body on Tuesday rejected Helen Keller’s Institute’s plea to be allowed to continue operating from its premises in Municipal Secondary School in Jacob Circle, Byculla.

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The institute for visually impaired and hearing-impaired students has been asked to vacate the premises by December.

The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) has promised to transfer the 70 students to other schools in the neighbourhood.

The institute had been operating out of eight classrooms in the Byculla school since 1978.

The institute also caters to deafblind individuals (ones who suffer from a combination of loss of sight and hearing) and there are very few schools for such students in the city.

Worried that other schools might not have the infrastructure to cater to the special learning needs of such students, the institute has now appealed to the state government to save the school.

Yogesh Desai, chief executive officer of the institute, has written to school education minister Rajendra Darda.

“We are one of the few schools in Mumbai that provide education free of charge to students with special needs. We prepare them to appear for board exams and do not just equip them with vocational skills, unlike other special schools,” said Desai.

“We are afraid that other schools will not be able to offer the same facilities.”

On July 8, Hindustan Times had reported that BMC had sent eviction notices to the school on June 19.

The school had then requested BMC commissioner Sitaram Kunte to allow them to continue working from the same premises on humanitarian grounds.

The school feels that their students will not be able to commute to their other campus in Navi Mumbai.

“We cannot expect these deafblind students to change trains every day and commute to Navi Mumbai. They will have no choice but to drop out,” he said.


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