The Delhi University Teachers’ Association (DUTA) is stunned by a ruthless move of the Delhi University Administration to evict one of its teachers suffering from severe orthopaedic disability, from the University accommodation that had earlier been provided to him in view of his disability. Wheelchair- bound G N Saibaba is an assistant Professor of English at Ram Lal Anand College, and has 90 per cent disability due to polio.
Saibaba and his family has been staying at DU’s Gwyer Hall Hostel for the last five years, where he was temporarily accommodated by the then VC Deepak Pental with a promise of a permanent accommodation in the future, which the university failed to deliver. Saibaba was informed by the Estate Officer vide orders dated December 21 and 26, 2012 that the eviction proceedings against him have been initiated under Section 4 of the Public Premises (EUO) Act, 1971.
In a subsequent meeting, where Saibaba called for a personal hearing with the said officer on January 7, 2013, he was told that the proceedings have been completed and that he would be evicted. Saibaba was further served with notices asking him to vacate his premises within two weeks, failing which they shall force him out onto the streets. Finding it harsh to expect him to vacate the said premises without arranging for an alternative accommodation with wheelchair access for him, DUTA has sent a letter to the VC to have a more humane approach to Dr. Saibaba’s situation.
“DUTA showed strong resistance to this hard-hearted and irresponsible gesture of the University administration and insisted that it is obliged to provide Dr. Saibaba with suitable accommodation to ensure that his dignity and sense of security are not compromised. Till such an alternate accommodation is not provided, the DUTA stands by Dr. Saibaba and appeals that he be not forcefully removed from his present place of stay,“ said Amar Deo Sharma, president of DUTA.
This exposes the hollowness of the DU administration’s tall claims that it is sensitive to thespecial requirements of its differently-abled teachers and students on the campus. Indeed,for a long time hundreds of disabled teachers and students have been agitating for theirrights to an accessible campus, study material and residential accommodation, which remainunfulfilled to this day.
The teachers of Delhi University demand that instead of taking a narrow and high handed approach, the University administration must channelize its efforts towards finding a suitable residential accommodation, and allow Dr. G. N. Saibaba to live in his present residence till that time.