In a progressive step towards giving equal access to PWD students, the University of Delhi will now have reserved seats for acid attacks survivors and students with thalassemia and dwarfism.
These reservations are mandated bythe Rights of Persons with Disabilities Act 2016. According to this Act, all government institutions of higher education and other higher education institutions which get government aid must reserve at least 5% of the seats for persons with benchmark disabilities. Acid attack survivors and other disabilities such as dwarfism, muscular dystrophy, and slow learners have also been included under benchmark disabilities.
Anil K. Aneja, nodal officer of the DU equal opportunity cell claims that, “The files are under process and if everything goes according to the flow, we will implement the reservation policy as per the new act which asks to reserve 5 per cent seats for a person with benchmark disability during admission. We will also try to comply with the 4 per cent reservation in employment provision.”
Delhi-based acid attack survivor Laxmi Agarwal welcomed this move and said, “This will help create more awareness among people about acid attack victims. Most of the times, these victims feel alienated, and reluctance on our part to accept them further increases their plight. Reservation in universities such as DU is very supporting for us.”
In a survey conducted by the National Centre for Promotion of Employment of Disabled People (NCPEDP), it was found that a mere 0.56% of seats in higher education go to disabled candidates.
It is expected that after these developments, the university space will become inclusive.
With inputs from the New Indian Express and The Asian Age
Feature Image Credits: Digital Learning