Visually Impaired Students Abandoned as Social Home Change Status

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Petir Garda Bhwana

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  • TEMPO.CO, Jakarta - Around 30 occupants of a social home for the visually impaired in Bandung, Panti Sosial Bina Netra, were forced to leave the Wyata Guna Hall in Bandung after it underwent a change in status to Center for Social Rehabilitation for Persons with Sensory Disabilities (BRSPDSN).

    As of Tuesday night, January 14, the visually impaired university students chose to temporarily stay at a sidewalk section nearby. 

    They had long protested against the government’s policy that changed the social home’s status into a rehab center governed in the Social Ministry’s regulation No. 18/2018. But the rule was enacted on January 1. 

    “The termination was in June 2019, that stopped every service for the dormitory residents,” said the head of the Wyata Guna Hall on Wednesday.

    At the time Wyata Guna was a social home, it accommodated blind and visually impaired students who go to school or college in Bandung. It was also meant for rehab participants attending life skills training such as massaging, computer skills, and other lines of work. 

    Former residents are calling the government to re-establish the institution’s function and revoke Social Ministry’s regulation No. 18/2018. Until then, they have decided to remain at a local bus stop and a section of the sidewalk at Pajajaran Street No. 52. 

    ANWAR SISWADI (CONTRIBUTOR)