Delhi University for a good number of years now has three percent seats reserved for students with disabilities. However, a large portion of these seats are left vacant. This speaks volumes about the conditions of the facilities for these students and their accessibility to the disabled students. This apathy of the university, which is clearly reflected in the state of these facilities, makes it difficult for an average student with a disability to fare in DU.
Says Mukesh, a first year visually impaired student, “Since I am new to the college, it is rather difficult making my way around. The bus stop is fairly far from the college which makes my task of travelling to and from college harder. As far as notes go, I record the lecture in the class and type it out later. My peers have helped me out greatly. However, there are very few course books in Braille, none in the library. This makes compiling my notes much more difficult.” He was unaware of the existence of a Braille Notice Board. Another visually impaired student, Yogesh, although aware of the recently installed Braille notice board pointed out that no substantially helpful notices have been put up on it yet, rendering it quite redundant. A similar situation exists in several colleges like Hindu college, Kirori Mal college, Hansraj College, St. Stephen’s College and others.
It is relatively easier for wheelchair bound students as there are ramps in most DU colleges. However, barring Lady Shri Ram College for Women, almost no other DU college has special washrooms for them. Even though there is very little regard for these differently abled students in terms of physical infrastructure, the condition of these students is somewhat ameliorated by the attitude of other students towards them. Most people are very friendly and helpful and treat them like any other student. However, this is a substitute for the essential facilities that the university is supposed to provide to its students.