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Inaccessible rights for differently Abled

Inaccessible rights for differently Abled

by Mohini Sharma

Mohini Sharma.jpg

Education is a pillar of life. Someone’s success and social status is vastly affected by his or her education. However, for the person with physical disability education is a not merely a means to achieve success or social status but it is as important as breathing to live. For disabled people education is a shield and weapon to fight with every odd of life, their degree papers are valuable means to achieve financial independence and their knowledge help them to cope with situations.

Indian education system was not based on equal opportunities. Earlier, it was cast and sex discrimination, and later it was physical disabilities that kept an education system unequal. Getting educated for a disabled person was no less than a war that many times used to begin at home itself. The initiative taken by many social activists and government brought a lot of changes in Indian educational system, but it is still long way to go when we talk about rural or small cities.

1995 disabled act enacted many laws that could make education easy and accessible for every disabled but unfortunately, its implementation is still on a nuance level in many cities and villages. There are several rights reserved and facilities available for a person with physical disabilities but accessing those rights are another long journey that one needs to go through.

All the schools and colleges are bound to admit disabled students, but these premises are not disabled friendly hence rights are inaccessible. While appearing for exam through college or university one has to go through a long process of applications, signatures and queues just for granting exam hall on a ground floor and scribe for writing exam papers.

SSC, HSC, and three years of degree college I have experienced that all. I could have asked for scribe but for that I had to pay Rs250/- per paper and there is no assurance of getting efficient and eligible scribe who can understand and write well. Many times University does a favor by mere bothering to sanction assistance of scribe. However, finding an efficient and affordable scribe with proper documents is solely a responsibility of candidates.

Yes! You can definitely give a pre-visit to the centre and request authorities to make sitting arrangements on a ground floor. If your parents or guardian who is looking after your exam arrangements can make his point, by hook or by crook, and if the authorized person is humble you can expect a ball in your court. Otherwise just get ready for a bumpy ride of staircases on shoulders of few strangers.

Exam centre was never a subject of change, no matter how you manage to travel or how much you spend on traveling? It could be 10km, 20km, or 30km. (I guess depend on regional geographical knowledge of centre sanctioning authorities). My every exam used to cost me approximately Rs5000/- which was more than my yearly educational expenses. I remember I used to start preparing for my exams before ten days of exam date, but my father used to start his preparations a month before of exam date to get everything arranged on the day of a final exam. This is how education is available for all.

I live in a metro city; I am aware about my rights I have supportive family still my rights were not easily

accessible for me. The situation is even worse in small cities and villages where several times’ authorities simply denied for any special arrangements and left students on their conditions. Due to exam pressure and lack of awareness students’ bear with every situation without any complains.

Delhi University announced on 3rd December 2011 that now onward University itself will arrange and bear the expenses of scribe, but I am yet to hear the same from other universities. I am not denying the progress that Indian government and education system have made in disability sector, but it is as slow as turtle. Does slow and steady always win the race?



Mohini

The author writes regularly for CTH. She may be contacted at contact@crossthehurdles.com