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Institutionalisation of facilities needed: Disabled students

Mar 28, 2014

Disabled students from various institutes have called for concrete steps for building a more enabling environment.

New Delhi: For students with disabilities, institutionalisation of facilities is the best route towards building disabled friendly campuses in the country. Students from top educational institutes in India were interacting with media during the National Convention for Youth with Disabilities (NCYD, an initiative of National Centre for Promotion of Employment for Disabled People (NCPEDP).

Students from top 21 institutes of India including IITs (Delhi, Banaras, Madras, Bhubaneswar and Bombay) and IIMs (Ahmedabad, Bangalore, Indore and Kozhikode) highlighted the need for such steps which could bring a lasting change in the educational institutes.

Ayush Bhutani, a visually challenged person from the Indian Institute of Management-Ahmedabad (IIM-A) urged for institutionalisation of facilities for the disabled in the educational campuses. Bhutani believes that institutionalisation assures better and guaranteed facilities to the disabled people.

He said that his institute IIM-A established Equal Opportunities Office (EOO) in 2012 on the lines of the Indian Institute of Management-Bangalore (IIM-B) which instituted this office way back in 2009.

Urging for giving a voice to the disabled in the decision making process in the educational institutes, Bhutani highlighted the need for educating this section of society about their rights.

Pooja Pandit, a B Tech student from the Indian Institute of Technology Madras, Chennai, said that facilities alone are not enough for people with disabilities.

Pandit, who is suffering from orthopedic disability, said that support from people on the campus is crucial for a positive environment at the institute. “Though every person has its own weaknesses but the challenges faced by the disabled are highlighted and sometimes easily visible,” she said.

Ranjani Kumari Singh from National Institute of Fashion Technology- Chennai (NIFT-Chennai) said that her campus offers no special facilities for people with disabilities. Ranjani, a hearing impaired student, impressed upon the need for a dedicated person to look after the needs of the disabled people.

Ranjani, who does not have operational knowledge of computers, feels the need for better training in this regard. “Internet is a very useful tool for learning and doing research which is an important component of our studies. More familiarization with Internet and computers can go a long way in making the learning process easier for us,” she said.

The convention aims to inspire the next generation leadership of not just the Indian disability sector but also those who would be agents of change in other fields. More than 50 young persons with disabilities from around 33 institutions spread across 13 States got together in Delhi during the last week of March for the second edition of this convention.

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