Education for the visually impaired has been advancing day by day in collaboration with technological progress. In the past the sightless learners had to encounter reading and writing problems before the discovery of Braille embossed character by Louis Braille. But as Braille embossed characters came to existence, the education of the sightless learners found an impetus which facilitated the reading and writing for the learners.
Now with the advancement of technology the learners found many opportunities in preparing and reading Braille embossed characters with the help of different software developed by WML. Using the Read Braille software and Tactile Device the sightless readers can read printed pages continuously by pushing the button with one hand and feeling the embossed tactile characters with the other hand. This is a nice technology, which may be called paperless reading for the sightless.
WML has recently launched a Talking Dictionary for the sightless learners. Preparation of talking dictionary with correct pronunciation and clarification of particular part of speech to which the word belongs is undoubtedly an improvement to open the flood gates of knowledge to the sightless. One observation has been made by Dr. P. C. Sengupta in a meeting on 15th of December at WML that visually handicapped learners are basically weak in spelling. So Dr. Sengupta suggested that the dictionary should spell each and every word correctly to the learners. WML has noted the observation and is likely to take corrective actions in the long run.
The main purpose of education of the visually challenged is to make them independent in the society. So importance should be given on the development of different assistive devices to make the sightless more and more independent and mobile in day to day life. In fact a barrier free environment is to be created for easy mobilization of the disabled as a whole. Director , WML was requested to ponder over to manufacture different assistive devices.
Stress encountered by the Visually Challenged
Mr. Ashoke Choudhury
Ex-principal Calcutta Blind School
Stress and tension are synonymous terms. Stress is the effect produced by forces pulling against each other. It is wear and tear of the body stressful agents that could be physical, psychological or socio-cultural.
Although has bad name and more than 80% disorder are considered to be stress related yet it is not all that bad. It has a positive side as well. Stresses are necessary for success. They are our self protective reactions when we confront threats to our safety, happiness, well being and self pride. They help us to achieve our goals and to avoid unpleasant situation. It is however, a matter of concern when stress become frequent, excessive and prolonged. They cause different health problems, such as high blood pressure and high cholesterol, which can lead to different fatal problems.
Visually challenged persons being human being encounter stresses in some environment. The effect of stress as perceptible in ordinary man is same to the visually challenged. Stresses to the visually impaired is also to be considered in a special environment for consideration of his absence of vision, lack of mobility, lack of self security, lack of self confidence and lack of self image. For example we may think that a blind man has to appear before a interview board and is waiting for his guide. The escort does not appear in time and in the event of his absence the sightless person suffers from anxiety leading to panic and depression. The sense of dependence constantly gnaws his mental state and he develops a sense of helplessness because he can not independently move. Loss of confidence with the onset of his blindness develops a sense of pessimism about life. He can not fight any think and laments like Macbeth in Shakespeare, “Life is a tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury signifying nothing.” What a terrible mental agony he undergoes every moment! He feels that he has no self security in life. He feels that there is nobody to rescue him from this state of affairs.
It is our social responsibility to embrace him and to relive him of this present condition. The true light of things and reality is to be communicated to them in a friendly manner. Hellen Keller before the advent of Anne Sullivan had undergone some sense of depression and languor as there was none to dissuade her from this mental condition. According to Dr. Hans Salve, an authority on the subject, for most of the disorder in mind common cause is chemical imbalance in the body caused by three tiny glands one pituitary and two adrenals that produce hormones mainly in reaction to stress.
“Integration & Inclusion; Prospects & Problems” a Challenging “VISTA” in Rehabilitation of the Visually Challenged persons.
Rehabilitation Administrator (RCI-CRR No. A-05283)
The country has witnessed a phenomenal expansion of educational opportunities in the Post Independence Period. The disadvantaged Children, however, have not been benefited substantially from this growth in educational facilities. Present Census Report of 2001 says out of 102 Crore population in the country the No. of disabled persons comes to 2 Crores 19 Lakhs 6 Thousand 769 and out of them 1 Crore 6 Lakhs 34 Thousand 881 are Visually Challenged Group. In our State 46.67% i.e. 8 Lakhs 62 Thousand 73 persons are Visually Impaired. In rural West Bengal 2.35% of the total rural population are disabled. Accordingly to the said report the rate of Literacy in West Bengal comes to 68.64% and only 58.67% are literate among the Disabled Persons in West Bengal i.e. 10% less than the general literacy rate (i.e. 68.64%) among the masses in West Bengal.
A Peep into the Past.
Almost all Education Commissions (1964 – 66) clearly stated, “their (Physically impaired children) education has to be organized not merely on humanitarian grounds, but also on the grounds of utility. Much earlier the 1st Official Report on blindness i.e. Sir Klutha Mackenzie’s Report, 1944 & Surgent Commission, 1944 Govt. of India. Post War Education Development in India, in their comprehensive reports on education, gave emphasis more on National System of Education (including the Handicapped) by the Education Department the Handicapped Children should not be Segregated from Normal children in their day to day schooling and if it is very much necessary then only, may be sent to Special School, the Specialised Training & Man-Power Development is absolutely necessary for their Main-Streaming in life and all possible steps to be taken for their successful placement & rehabilitation through various forms of employment. The Secondary Education commission in 1952-53, suggested that in the interest of the smooth progress of normal children there should be a few schools in each state for Handicapped Children, where methods specially suited to their need may be adopted. However, real reason could be that by 1952, Education become the joint responsibility of the State as well as the Centre. The impairedness is not looked as a constraint but as a challenge to develop those impaired as fruitful resource, a lot of care has to be taken in the planning apart from love & compassion. Due to the universalisation of Primary Education (UPE) as a constitutional directive, Education for all (EFA) programme was 6-14 years by the year 1995. The National Policy of Education (1986) has observed” the objectives should be to integrate the physically & Mentally Challenged Groups with the general community as equal partners to prepare them for normal growth to enable them to face life with courage & confidence. Several education commissions Viz. Mudalior Commission, Ashoke Mitra Commission etc. emphasized the “Educative Equality of the Disabled” should be our objectives, a bench making of the syllabi etc. are absolutely essential, since different types of organizations like, (i) Government, (ii) Sponsored Institutions, (iii) voluntary organizations are deeply involved in the field of imparting residential/non-residential formal education to those disabled students, some NGO’s have made an attempt to explore the educational avenues through other non-formal way on experimental basis.
In West Bengal the Chief Inspectorate of Technical Education was looking after the education of the physically challenged group before 1972. In 1972, the Directorate of Technical Education come forward to look after the Institutions for the Handicapped and till 1995 the Education & Training to the Handicapped persons were treated as Technical Education and at that time there were 75 Institutions working for the Handicapped under Technical Education Directorate. In 1996, the education section for the Handicapped was transferred to Mass Education Extension Dept.
At present, Mass Education Extension Department looks after 125 Institutions for the Handicapped out of which 50 Institutions are meant for the Visually Challenged and Blind with other categories of Handicapped. Mainly MEE Department looks after the Sponsored/Aided & Recognised Special Schools for the Handicapped. There are Institutions/NGOs getting grants from the Govt. of India, social welfare Department and two Govt. Schools viz. Govt. School for the Blind, Coochbehar & Govt. School for the Deaf, Raiganj run under Social Welfare Department catering the needs of the Children with Special care under Special Schools.
School Education Department, West Bengal has started a Special Cell to implement Integrated Education for the Disabled Children and West Bengal DPEP/Sarbashiksha Abhijan/Some small NGOs have already started integrated/inclusive education for the Handicapped throughout the State in their own way and within their limited resources.
Mass Education Extn. Department in collaboration with Paschim Banga Rajya Pratibandhi Sammilani had already initiated some programmes under joint venture Viz. Talent search programmes for the Handicapped. All Bengal Sports Meet etc. with a view to include more Physically Challenged Persons through Sports, Games etc. for bringing out their best talents and abilities.
National Policy of Education (NPE) envisaged that each district must have at least one Special School. Today, in West Bengal every district has more than one special schools. In fact, the cost of running a special school is quite high and therefore, either the NGOs / Voluntary Organisations are to be encouraged, or an integrated approach has to be taken. The NPE emphasized integration of Handicapped Children with General Community as equal partners and preparation of this group for Normal growth in order to enable them to face life with courage & confidence.
Scholarships/Studentship/Stipend to the Physically Challenged persons
In West Bengal Social Welfare Department offers Scholarship / Stipends to the Handicapped Students Studying upto VIII Standard. Mass Education Extension Department offers Scholarships to the Handicapped Students from Class – IX and onwards upto Post Graduation level, Vide G.O. No. 106-Edn (Mee), Dt. 27-01-99.
Also Backward Class Welfare Department, Government of West Bengal offers Scholarships / Stipends to the Disabled with SC/ST/OBC from school level upto Post Graduation level.
The Fisheries Department offers Scholarships to the Handicapped Students whose parents belong to the Fisherman Community. The Cottage & Small Scale Industries Development Department offers Scholarships to the Handicapped Students/Artisans whose Parents are belong to the Weaver’s etc. Community.
The Minorities Welfare Department also offers Scholarships to the Physically Challenged persons whose parents belong to the Minorities Community. In many Department under Government of West Bengal provides some sort of assistance/provisions for the education/Welfare of the Handicapped Students including School Education/Higher Education/Technical Education/Library Services Department/DPI etc.
Government of India also provides various types of Scholarships to the Handicapped Students. The copies of details of the Govt. orders are enclosed for ready reference.
To promote and popularize Integrated/Inclusive Education among the Physically Challenged Groups--many NGOs/Voluntary Organisations/Business Houses/Social Services clubs etc. have many more Schemes & Packages. Moreover, the Banks/Chamber of Commerces/Various Philanthropic Trusts/Philanthropics comes forward--though the service is just a drop in the Ocean; the problems is so colossal.
Due to ever increasing demands/awareness the results in various examinations of the Handicapped Students becoming glorious. But unfortunately, the financial allocations in Govt. level are decreasing in respect of their needs. The sanction of financial assistance should be increased.
“Scope and Avenues of Higher/Technical Education for the Persons with Disabilities Impairment in West Bengal”.
Following are the glimpses of Govt. Orders / Provisions for the Physically Challenged Persons--
G.O.No. & Date--846-SE (Pry.), 12.08.98. Issued by School Education Department.
Subject--3% Reservation for admission in all Govt. educational Institutions for all types of Handicapped Students.
G.O.No. & Date--598-Edn (A), 04.12.98. Issued by Higher Education Department. Appointment Branch, Bikash Bhawan, Kolkata--91.
G.O.No. & Date--West Bengal Board of Secondary Education Act. 1963, Chapter--I, Clause--IV and V (Page No. 3)
Subject--Equal Status of Secondary nature of all the Institutions for the Handicapped are at per with the Secondary Schools under W.B.B.S.E.
G.O.No. & Date--3-MEE/Sectt. 01.01.2002. Issued by MEE Dept.
Subject--Constitution of a Core Group on Disability related issues--Reference from the National Human Rights Commission (including Higher Education for the Disabled).
G.O.No. & Date--Memo No. DS (A) SD/358/99, Dt. 17.03.99.
Subject--West Bengal Council of Higher Secondary Edu. (Provision for Higher Education for the Hearing Impaired Students).
G.O.No. & Date--IT--296/97/5564 (30) Dt. 17.03.99. Order issued by Dte. of Industrial Training Department, Bikash Bhawan.
Subject--Guidelines and 5% seat reservations for the handicapped students in I. T. I/Polytechnics/Jr. Technical Schools etc.
G.O.No. & Date--Circular from W. B. Board of Examination for Admission to Engg./Medical/Tech. Degree Colleges etc. for the Handicapped.
Subject--Guidelines for admission to the State Polytechnics/Engg. Colleges etc. 5% reservation and other concessions.
G.O.No. & Date--Circular from Central Govt. Service issued by M/O Personnel, Public Grievances and Pensions (DOPT).
Subject--Recommendation about the categories and the test required for admission/service/Employment etc. for the Handicapped.
G.O.No. & Date--Guidelines accepting & issuing permission letter for extra time & amanuensis to the Handicapped & Blind Candidates.
Subject--W.B.B.S.E and W.B.H.S. Council
G.O.No. & Date--353 (150)--Emp., Dt. 11.011.97.
Subject--Direction to the Supreme Court regarding admission of Leprosy cured patients to the Educational Institutions.
G.O.No. & Date--Memo No. 008/M/550, Dt. 07.01.99.
Subject--Implementation order of IEDC for the year 99-2000issued by the DI (Secondary Education), Howrah.
G.O.No. & Date--Memo No. DS(A)-SD/358/99, Dt. 17.03.99.
Subject--Implementation of PWD Act., 95 in case of Shri Ghosh, a Hearing Impaired candidate by the D.S (Academic), W.B.H.S. Couincil.
G.O.No. & Date--106-Edn (MEE), Dt. 27.01.99.
Subject--Scholarship to the Handicapped Students (Class--IX & onwards) issued by MEE Department.
G.O.No. & Date--425/MEE/Sectt., Dt. 13.06.2002.
Subject--Monitoring Committee to monitor computerized Braille transcription system in Schools for the Blind in W.B. issued by MEE Department.
G.O.No. & Date--180-Edn (MEE), Dt. 31.01.2000.
Subject--Acceptance & Declaration of Special Schools for the Handicapped at per Secondary in Nature (as per provisions of W. B. Sec. Edu. Act, 1963) and similar pay scale according to qualifications of the Teachers issued by the MEE Dept., West Bengal.
G.O.No. & Date--1329-TET (Poly), Dt. 04.06.99.
Subject--For short team vocational training programme approved for the normal/Handicapped Students.
G.O.No. & Date--1414-HE (E), Dt. 26.09.2003.
Subject--Implementation of PWD Act 1995, issued by Higher Edn. Department.
G.O.No. & Date--187-SE (HS), Dt. 22.08.97.
Subject--Acceptance of Academic Qualifications, acquired from the National Open School, order issued by School Edn. Dept., H. S. Br.
G.O.No. & Date--Circular Order No. S/649, Dt. 22.05.89.
Subject--Admission of Blind Students in recognized Sec. Schools, issued by W.B.B.S.E.
G.O.No. & Date--404 (2)-TET (Poly), Dt. 21.05.2001.
Subject--Short term vocational try Course for the Phy. Han., issued by MEE Dept.
G.O.No. & Date--1185(10)-Edn (U), Dt. 10.12.2002.
Subject--3% Reservation of Seats for admission for the P/H issued by the Higher Edn. Dept. (University Edn.Br)
G.O.No. & Date--2022-BCW, Dt. 07.05.02.
Subject--Dr. Ambedkar National Scholarships Scheme for Meritorious students belonging to SC/ST issued by backward Class Wel. Department.
Role of Rabindra Mukta Vidyalaya/National open School/Netaji Open University/Indira Gandhi Open University etc. to popularizes, implement PWD Act, 95, to universatisation of education to the Physically Challenged People, the abovesaid Organisations made an efforts to education reachable/accessible and affordable to all and even to the Handicapped Students in particular. All the Govt. Orders/Press release/Clippings are enclosed for ready reference. After going through the circulars/papers cuttings one can easily understand & can appreciate that education invites at the doorsteps to anyone including the Handicapped persons. Only thing the educational aids & appliances has to be procured. One has to get it Brailled or have to get it Audio-taped--so that blind students may get the benefit.
Importance of Plus-Curricular for the Visually Challenged Persons:--Plus-Curriculum means--
Braille & Skills of Communications.
Orientation & Mobility Training.
Daily Home Living Skills / Activities of Daily Living or Life Skills Techniques.
The above said training can be & should be imported by a technically qualified (RCI Registered Personnel). The said personnel MUST be a Special Educator. The designation may be O & M Instructor/Daily Home Living Instructor/Braille Transcriber/Reader--or so on. All the Instructors, those who are imparting training in plus curriculum MUST be treated as Teaching Staff--under any circumstances. They should not be treated as non-teaching staff members.
Since, the Instructors in Orientation & Mobility, Daily Home Living Skills, Braille & Skills of Communications etc. are preparing the foundation for effective rehabilitation through Basic adjustment and rehabilitation through Basic adjustment and rehabilitation training. Hence, all the Instructors in a School for the Blind are very much Special Educators & they can not be treated as a non-teaching staff. But unfortunately, some of the Institutions for the Blind treat their service as non-teaching staff. But unfortunately, some of the Institutions for the Blind treat their service as non-teaching staff members, which is absolutely wrong.
Inclusion of Education for the Handicapped at per Secondary type Vide WBBSE Act, 1963 by the MEE Department.
Government in the MEE Department was pleased to accept the education for the Handicapped at per Secondary Type Vide WBBSE Act, 1963, G.O. 180-Edn (MEE), Dt. 31.01.2000 & accordingly the Pay Scale service / leave rules etc. of the Staff members are similar that of Secondary Teachers / Staff members of the Secondary Schools under WBBSE. After issuance of Service Rules for the employees of the Sponsored Institutions of the Handicapped & G.O. No. 130-Edn (MEE), Dt. 31.01.2000 by the MEE Department, their should not be any discrimination between the employees of the Secondary Schools and Employees of the Sponsored Institutions for the Handicapped under MEE Department.
Role of the Office of the Commissioner of the Disabilities to implement PWD Act, 1995.
After implementation of the PWD Act, 1995 (Notification published in Calcutta Gazette dt. 07.02.1996). A lot of changes took place in various Government Aided Sectors. But a lot areas are yet to be covered. As for examples, 3% reservation for the handicapped persons are not yet been implemented for recruitment of jobs in primary teachers training institute (PTTIS), Sabshiksha Abjijan/DPEP Madrasha Education Welfare Homes under MEE Department (for admission and may others places in Government and other Department/Sectors Even Literacy Mission of India/State Literacy Mission Authority did not even implement PWD ACT, 1995, where a lot of areas are still uncovered, specially in Adult High Schools, Janashiksha Sanstha, Non-Formal Centres etc. for admission and recruitment of 3% reservations of the Physically Handicapped persons).
Need to establish a council for education and training (duly approved by RCI) of the Handicapped.
There is a tremendous need to recognize various vocational/para professional training courses being conducted by the various NGOS working for the Handicapped specially in the area of Craft Instructors Training Courses, Vocational Guidance and councelling courses, courses like Transcribers/Readers/Daily Home Living Instructors/Braille Press Manager, Personnel like stereo-operators, compositors, copy holders etc. For that purpose RCI has a vital role to play as similar bodies like All India Technical Education Council (AITEC), NCTVT, SCVT, State Council for Technical Education and Training, Technical Education Council, Higher Education Council etc. R.C.I, NIVH can regularly conduct such professional courses in collaboration with NGOs/Govt. Department/Vol. Org. such courses like orientations courses/Refreshers Courses/Sensitization programmes for the benefit of all the Govt. Officials right from the grass-root level upto top level with the help of the Zonal Centres of the RCI/Administrative Training Institute (ATI), Specially in the MEE Department, where the Government Officials/ZSS are directly link with the Literacy movement of the Handicapped persons.
MEE Department is implementing the PWD Act, 1995, Chapter--VII, Clause--43 (D) by setting up of special Schools but to implementation non-formal education and to irradicate illiteracy among the Adult Handicapped Persons, a lot of things yet to be done in their 29000 Adult Literacy Centres, unless or until Sub-Centres for the Physically Handicapped will start in those Adult Literacy/Continuing Education Programme of MEE Department and NGOs including ZSS--the 10% Literacy rate will remain less in comparision with the general literacy rate of West Bengal.
Last but certainly not the least, suggestion, regarding successful implementation of integrated education including inclusive one for the visually challenged persons--is to involve more NGOs/Voluntary org./All level of Govt. machinery including the Semitics Co-Ordination Committees / Chamber of Commerce/Social Service Clubs and Philanthropic persons and a large number of public at large--then only West Bengal will stand “ON THE THRESHOLD OF A NEW ERA”--a CROSSROAD which leads to Rehabilitation & success through integration & inclusion with the mainstream of Society.
Teaching Physical Science to the Visually Challanged
Mr. Anil Pal
Asstt. Teacher, Calcutta Blind School
The aching of science to the sightless is a Herculean task, but this task seems to be easy when a teacher of science attends to conceptualise science through adopted device. It is known to all that teaching science to seeing or non seeing depends not only on factual knowledge but also on the experimented observations.
Physical science is divided into water-tied compartments, both physics and chemistry. The syllabus of West Bengal Board of Secondary Education opens flood gates of knowledge to the learners through different chapters of Physics and Chemistry to have complete concepts of some of the initial facts of Physics & Chemistry, so that the gathered knowledge may assist the students to pursue some other important facts in H.S. Stream.
In my long experience what I have observed is that teaching of science to the visually impaired should take place both in classroom and in laboratory- otherwise full-fledged knowledge of the subject is impossible.
The teaching of Physics say for sound, magnet & electricity may be easily communicated through some existing adapted devices e.g. reflection of sound may easily be perceived by a sightless learner through auditory organs. We may take two plastic pipes of same length to be placed and used with a wooden plank as well. One fanel should be joined at one end of each pipe and the other ends should be placed at an suitable angle to the wooden plank so that the sound generated at one end may be reflected on the wooden plank and may travel after reflection easily to the other end. This experiment can be tacitly perceived and experienced by a sightless learner as he tactily feels total apparatus and receives the reflection & projection of sound with the help of his auditory organs.
Similarly the attraction and repulsion of magnet may be felt and statical electricity and electromagnetic part of the syllabus may be grasped by touch by the learners.
The teaching of chemistry to the sightless is indeed very tough job. It may be remembered in this connection that visually challenged learners have four remaining organs and they do not vision to perceive through the window the external sights and colour of the world. Naturally tactile and auditory organs may be utilized for learning of chemistry, e.g. in course of experiment of different acids in the laboratory, teacher has to concentrate and depend on his olfactory sense. The smell of Hydrogen Sulphide is like rotten egg the same may be easily smelt and identified by the sightless with the help of his olfactory sense. So also ammonia gas may be identified for its pungent smell.
There are so many compounds of different smells, which may be identified by a learner. Identification of elements without smell may be possible through the chemical reaction of known elements or compounds emitting some different odors.
It is said that picture to blind and music to deaf is an impossibility. Naturally the chemical reaction observed through colour can not be perceived by the sightless. The world has so far failed to incorporate the concept of colour into the sightless. So while experimenting chemical reaction, science teacher fails to provide concrete concept about the colour, except naming the particular colour perceived by him. Adventurously the blind students who have colour concept may have the knowledge of colour through verbalization of the teacher. As soon as the teacher refers to a particular colour it flashes into his mental eye and he can deeply perceive the colour on the basis of his past experience. The solution is far off. The computer compensates the deficiency of vision through the innovation of a new type of software, which may intercept the colour to the sightless, in future.
Dr. A. P. J. Abdul Kalam President of India graced the award function for Disabled on 3rd December, 2004 and delivered very impressive speech on “Ability in the midst of Disabilities”. This speech is very inspiring to all disabled. The same speech has been brailled in the Regional Braille Press, R. K. Mission Ashrama, Narendrapur. Any visually impaired person interested in going through the speech may contact the Regional Braille Press, R. K. Mission Ashrama, Narendrapur.
The Regional Braille Press, R. K. Mission Ashrama, Narendrapur has published Braille Calender for the year 2005. The calender is stuffed with different information about disability.
WML has developed Text to Speech Software (TTS) for Bengali Language development work for other Indian Languages is going on. Besides the software related to the disabled TTs accords some additional facility to the sightless by using their auditory organ. In case of necessity the person concerned may contact Webel Mediatronics Ltd.
WML organized a meeting on Comparative Analysis of National and International Scenarios, and Development of the R & D Plan for India relating to Assistive Devices on 15th December 2004 at the conference room of WML. Dr. Papiya Lahiri Sr. Executive of Centre for Symbiosis of Technology, Environment and management chaired the conference relating to different types of Assistive Devices to different category of handicapped.
Following persons participated in the discussion and exchanged their views
Mr. S. N. Goswami, WTD Webel Mediatronics Ltd.
Mr. Paramesh Sengupta, Lecturer teacher training institute BBA
Mr. Kesab Sil, Retired Manager, Regional Braille Press
Mr. Shibabrata Sengupta, retired resource teacher of BBA
Mr. Ashoke Choudhury, retired principal Calcutta Blind School
Mr. Pankaj Das, Principal Louis Braille Memorial school
Ms. Gargi Gupta, Voice of World
Mr. Utpal Majumder, Louis Braille Memorial school
Mr. Barun Kar, Louis Braille Memorial school
Mrs. E. Chattopadhyay, Assistant Manager Webel Mediatronics Ltd.
Mrs. K. Sikder Assistant Manager Webel Mediatronics Ltd.
A meeting of the committee of Bengali Braille Contraction and abbreviation was held at the conference room of WML on 1st January 2005 togather with the members of the committee Mr. Halde, a representative from Norway and Mr. Mansur Ahmed Chowdhury representative from Bangladesh were present in the noted meeting.