Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Color Blindness

Ask anyone … and not necessarily an uneducated, ignorant person …. what is color blindness … in 9 of 10 cases you will get a reply on the lines that a color blind person is one who cannot see colors …now what does that mean does the world of a color blind is a black and white TV ????

As a matter of fact it is estimated that approximately 8-12 % of the male population has red green color blindness, which is nothing more than a problem in distinguishing certain shades of Red and Green which even people suffering from this disorder don’t realize until they go through the ishihara test for color blindness wherein they are shown colored dots and asked to identify numbers hidden in them. Color blindness is an inaccurate term for a lack of perceptual sensitivity to certain colors. Absolute color blindness is almost unknown.

But still people with such a problem are denied opportunities for which they are perfectly capable. And ppl in fact tend to hide such a problem. And the worst thing is that there is no consistency in eligibility criterion across different spheres of the professional world , I would just list down a few examples of which I am absolutely sure about –

1) People with color blindness are denied opportunities in Defense (This can be acceptable as defense forces need to be fit in all respects ... but is there no area in the entire defense establishment where such a person cannot work ??)
2) Admissions to Certain Professional Colleges – If you are color blind you cannot become an engineer from UP (Through UP common admission test), just cant understand if a person with color blindness can become an Engg from IIT then why not from a regional UP college .... There might be many more such cases including medical colleges.
3) Denial of jobs – here I will talk about the software industry of which I know , you cannot become a software engg. in TCS one the leading Indian IT services company, they have a compulsory pre employment medical test in which color blindness is the only possible reason for which you can be permanently denied employment, whereas there are other Indian companies like infosys which doesn’t have any kind of medical test as do most of the MNC’s in India …. This just defies all logic …. In software where most of the time you work on black and white code why does a condition in which u cant distinguish certain shades of red and green become critical.

Mentioned above are a very few things that I have touched upon which I am sure about and I have a feeling that this is just the tip of an iceberg.

In most organization today there is a conscious attempt to accommodate people with disabilities, there is also lot of talk about inclusion in the society for such people , cant understand why this discrimination against people who cant even be called disabled, you wont find many people talking abut this as most who know about their condition tend to keep it with themselves , anyway no one can tell when there are as many as 10% men having the same condition.

I think this issue needs to be taken up, really don’t know by whom, to atleast arrive at some universal guidelines regarding what these people can do and what they cant in all spheres.

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