With no arrangements made for the disabled, education institutes in the city, which are supposed to empower students and brighten their future, prove to be a challenge for the challenged.
TOI's third report on the matter looks into how institutes of higher education are a nightmare for physically handicapped students, who have to take help even to go use the lavatories.
Kumar, who walks with the help of calipers, says that it takes him a lot of time to descend six stairs to reach the gate of the college hostel from his room. "I use a tri cycle for commuting between the hostel and the department. But the tri-cycle isn't allowed in classrooms for which I need to climb steps using calipers," he added.
These students have a difficult time attending practical lessons where it is compulsory to stand during assignments.
Even though all of Kumar's classes take place on the ground floor, he still has to climb more than 10 steps to take care of official work, like paying the fee or submitting documents, at the administrative block.
"During examinations we are allotted classes on the first floor which makes life even more difficult," he said.
Another student, Ravi Kumar of BSc I Year said, "We take a lot of pain to reach classrooms but it hurts when the teacher is absent from the class."
The biggest problem for physically challenged students, apart from using staircases, is that of using toilets. "Toilets are out of our bound and we have to take someone's help to reach there," said Rahul Gupta, a differently abled student from in MJP Rohikhand University. Another student added that water kiosks are located at a higher plane than they can access.
Talking to TOI, some of the physically challenged students said that there was hardly anything which could be called 'friendly' for them in Rohilkhand University and Bareilly College.
After railway stations, bus stands and the district hospital, there are no proper ramps for handicapped students at colleges as well and they are forced to take the stairs riding their calipers with chances of accidents quite high during rush hours.
Imran Ansari of Samajwadi Party's students union wing said, "Though we have asked for proper arrangements for differently abled students from college authorities, they have not paid heed to our demands."
The college and university authorities seem to be least bothered about violating University Grant Commission (UGC) directives which clearly mention that institutes should create special facilities such as ramps, rails and special toilets, and make other necessary changes to suit the special needs of differently-abled persons. For this purpose, the UGC makes a one-time grant of up to Rs 5 lakh per university/college.
When contacted, principal of Bareilly College, Somesh Yadav said, "If any such student is facing difficulties, they can contact me and I will take steps to ensure easy mobility in the campus." However, despite repeated attempts, authorities of Rohilkhand University were unavailable for comments.
Source : TOI , 19th Sep 2014