Thiruvananthapuram: The central government will invest Rs.1,700 crore to transform the NISH here into the National University for Rehabilitation Sciences and Disability Studies for the benefit of the disabled, union Social Justice and Empowerment Minister Thaawar Chand Gehlot said on Saturday.
"It is provisioned to spend Rs.390 crore for the first five years of expansion of the university which will have infrastructure as well as operational components. The rest of the amount will be granted in the next phases which will span another five years," he said, addressing a gathering at National Institute of Speech and Hearing (NISH) here.
Gehlot praised the state government's initiative to build such NISH which provides high quality services for the population with disabilities and later called on Chief Minister Oommen Chandy at the latter's official residence here.
"Prime Minister Narendra Modi has asked us to implement different yojanas or strategies for the differently abled people and we are working on these strategies," he added.
The central government's aim is to have a country with people with no disabilities and if at all there are such people, the government will provide necessary support and education for them and equip them with instruments, devices and other facilities to help them fully included in the mainstream, he asserted.
He also said the government will also provide support for the blind with the Braille language books and equipment and teach sign language for the people with hearing and speech impairment.
"We will provide Rs.6 lakh for each cochlear implant. We have already done this implantation for 300 children, after which they were given the necessary therapy so that they could hear and speak gradually," he said.
The minister also wished all success to the university which is projected to have more than 4,000 students by the time the full project is implemented.
These will be in two streams, higher education for those with disabilities and professionals who will work in the field of disability and rehabilitation.