Respected Vice Chancellor Sir,
It was an honour to see the University inviting its students to witness the “Flag-in ceremony” to celebrate what was tagged the “Badhte Kadam IV” , in early December, supposedly aimed at spreading awareness regarding equal opportunity for the differently-able students or in the University’s own words “to highlight the social and cultural integration of people with disability”.
Hats off to the initiative and I pray that it meets its desired end.
Sir, with all due respect, I beg to say that to me this is sheer waste of time and energy. The University pompously speaks of an equal opportunity cell but the bitter truth is that the differently able students are being discriminated against in the university and also being denied what they are officially entitled too.
I understand that as per the norms of your Equal Opportunity Cell, all the differently abled students are to be strictly allotted classrooms in the ground floor by the colleges. Have you ever tried to find out how many colleges actually implement these directions? Has any college in your recent memory been issued a show-cause notice for their violation by your office? If not, then I would like to inform you that sadly the ones violating the directions are in majority.
The head of the Equal opportunity Cell has gone on record (as reported in The Hindu) to say that he has very little powers to see that the directions are actually taken seriously and implemented by the colleges. He agreed that every year such incidents are reported from various colleges. This in itself speaks volumes about the state of affairs in the University. Unless the cell is empowered to take strong actions, the intentions with which it was established (noble no doubt) will never be realized.
I have a classmate who is visually impaired and literally had to scrounge for a scribe during the first semester exams in spite of the fact that the University, through its Equal Opportunity Cell, proudly claims that it shall provide him (and the like) with one. Had the University been concerned enough and been infatuated with its proclamations, he and many like him wouldn’t be searching for scribes for the semester exams with absolutely no help from the University or the colleges.
Under the University’s norms, all visually impaired students are to be provided with electronic reading devices by their respective colleges. Sir, the reality is that only a handful is provided with them. Most of them are subjected to procrastination by the staff.
Far from providing an environment of equality to them, the University, thanks to its many unscrupulous colleges, has rather aggravated their misery. Incidents where the writers brought in by the students were not allowed in the colleges were aptly reported in The Hindu after the semester exams in early December. Instead, peons and people who can’t even read and write are being provided as writers to these students under the watchful eyes (I sincerely doubt if they are) of the staff of your great colleges.
Respected Sir, I by no stretch of imagination wish to doubt the University’s intention in this regard. All I want to highlight is that making rules and directions is one thing, while implementing them on ground is a different matter. Nothing great will be achieved by holding such ceremonies when the lethargic attitude of the staff continues to haunt the differently abled students.
These events shall remain nothing more than utopian fantasies if they are never to be realized, felt and implemented. I sincerely feel that instead of spreading awareness regarding the said matter, it is imperative that the University staff itself be morally and psychologically counseled well enough by some experts though seminars and trainings. This will help to tackle the problem to a relatively greater degree and thus meet the desired end.
Thanking you in anticipation, and looking forward to a speedy and positive action from your side.
BA(H) Pol Science
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