IS DU MAKING A DIFFERENCE?
Here’s a reality check on facilities available in DU colleges for the specially-abled
The Lok Sabha has recently passed the Disability Bill, stipulating a jail term of at least six months to two years and a fine ranging between `10,000 to `5 lakh for discrimination against differently-abled persons. A proposal to increase reservation from 3-4 per cent in universities and other higher education institutions has been put forward too.
Delhi University already has 1600 differently-abled students and the number might increase with the Bill. We visited the campus to find out how well-equipped the college premises are for these people. And here’s what we found:
Ramped-up: While majority of the colleges have ramps but only Kirori Mal College (KMC) boasts of a signage board. “Ramps have been constructed throughout our college. Apart from distributing free laptops, audio softwares have also been installed in the library for students with vision difficulties. Signage boards have been put up outside each and every room to help them. Printed in English, Hindi and Braille, the boards have all necessary information,” says Dinesh Khattar, Principal of KMC. Ramjas College will also inaugurate a new academic block in the near future, which has been constructed keeping in mind ease of access for students with disabilities. Saguna Puri, History professor at the college informs, “The new block will be one-of-its kind. With elevated platforms we aim to make our premises easily accessible to the differently-abled.”
North Campus has been appreciated by everyone for its tactile paths and signage boards. Lifts in Hansraj College are an added facility.
Clockwise from top: A ramp in St.Stephan’s College; Students meet up at a society for the differently-abled; Signages in Braille at Kirori Mal College