Special day for disabled 33 artists come together, say nothing stops them
DU Corpus To Promote Equality
W| hile unfriendly physical infrastructure is known to be a major obstacle in education for differentlyabled students, even financial constraints compel many of them, along with SC/ST students, to drop out from the rolls of educational institutions.
On World Disability Day, the Equal Opportunity Cell (EOC) of Delhi University has decided to create a corpus to finance such students. Keeping in view the fact that seats in the physically handicapped (PH) category have gone vacant year after year, the EOC has planned to sensitize school students with disabilities about the opportunities and barrierfree environment the university is aiming at.
Having got a go-ahead by the vice chancellor recently, the EOC is now creating the corpus out of voluntary contributions. According to officer on special duty, EOC, Dr Chandra Nisha Singh, ‘‘The primary objective is to help students who are unable to cope with the financial pressure after admissions. Many students find it hard to pay the fees and arrange funds for other academic requirements because of a poor economic background. These students tend to drop out. To wrest this trend, we’ll encourage more students, specially in the PH category, to go for higher education.’’
While EOC is still to plan out the exact manner in which the corpus would be used, the corpus in principle is primarily for physically-disabled students from economically weak background. It will help them by financing their education in part and full at the university. ‘‘We are in dialogue with CBSE as well and trying to identify a group of government schools in Delhi. We’ll sensitize students with disabilities and their parents so that the students don’t drop out after school fearing an unfriendly environment and financial burden at college level,’’ said Singh.
Moreover, January 2010 onwards the EOC will offer an advanced course on sign language interpretation (B-level) in order to equip these students with professional skills. According to Tanmoy Bhattacharya, EOC member and associate professor with the linguistics department, ‘‘This course is for students who have passed A-level from our centre or any other institute. The skills imparted will enhance their job prospects and even create manpower for sectors dedicated to working for the disabled.’’
1,000 students from the PH category are enrolled in DU and its affiliated colleges. The fund, known as EOC fund, is a part of the cell’s vision to create equal opportunities and a barrier-free environment in the university. The EOC launched a special bus which is now also catering to students of the Blind School at Mukherjee Nagar. Bhattacharya added: ‘‘The EOC is planning to have another special bus service, which will connect the North and South Campus. It will take around six months to chalk out the plans.’’
I| t’s a painstakingly crafted vision of aspiration in woodcut. Twenty-oneyear-old Krishna Kumar Yadav shows the journey of a young man from India’s interiors to Banaras Hindu University — a stark blackand-white self-portrayal by the polio-stricken Yadav who belongs to UP’s Bhadoi.
Yadav is one of 33 variously disabled artists from across the country exhibiting at ‘Beyond Limits’, an art exhibition organized by NGO, Family of Disabled (FOD) coinciding with the International Day of Persons with Disabilities on Thursday.
The festival celebrates the work of artists with disability, nine are participating for the first time this year. The artists have come from Tamil Nadu, Assam, West Bengal, Orissa, Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, Haryana and Rajasthan and use a variety of mediums such as canvas, metal and paper. Many of them have degrees in Fine Arts. Exhibiting also is Noida’s Pradeep Kumar Tarei, 41, whose work ‘Staircase’ has a stairway in the backdrop and a symbolic missing tile in the floor in front. Says hearing-impaired Pradeep’s father B B Tarei, ‘‘Painting’s the only medium he expresses his inner feelings.’’
Lucknow’s 26-year-old Jamaluddin Ansari’s bronze work has a child in an ear that represents a womb. Born hearing challenged, Ansari’s rendition is compelling. But it’s not always introspection. While Allahabad’s 31-year-old Ram Raghubir Mishra has captured the buzz of Varanasi’s ghats, Ranthambore’s Imamuddin, 45, engages with the tiger with an ilan that renders a photographic feel to his paintings. ‘‘It takes three months to complete one painting,’’ gestures Imamuddin who has the patronage of Rajasthan’s elite.
The exhibition held in artist Arpana Caur’s art gallery at Siri Fort Institutional Area is on till December 6. FOD’s Preeti Johar says Caur supports the cause by mounting the exhibitions free of cost. Of the sale proceeds, 75% goes to the artists and 25% is retained for promos. ‘‘There are many barriers — physical, financial, attitudinal — to selling their work. We help with an exhibition-cum-sale for- mat,’’ says Preeti. Her father Rajinder Johar founded FOD in 1992 after a gunshot injury paralysed his limbs.
Cuttack’s brother duo, hearing-and-speech impaired Sriharsha and Siddhartha Shankar Sukla are known for collages made from paper. In Sriharsha’s ‘Gurjar’, the skin’s wrinkle and the turban’s folds are so deftly crafted that they resemble brush strokes. Chennai’s 70-year-old G Prabhakar is the oldest here. At 19, Delhi’s Arpita Mandal and Chenna’s G Suvedha are the youngest. New Delhi: After a series of delays, the much-awaited Anand Vihar Railway station is ready to open but not before running into another hurdle. The traffic police have refused to give a no-objection certificate (NOC) to the entry-exit point to the complex that also houses a Metro station and an InterState Bus Terminus (ISBT).
The police claim that the integrated transport complex is expected to cause a traffic nightmare on Road no 56 because the entry-exit opens into Delhi-Ghaziabad border at Maharajpur. The point is located opposite the traffic light leading out of the city to Uttar Pradesh.
As per the original plan, the existing gate was to be used by commuters of ISBT and Delhi Metro while Northern Railways was earmarked space for a separate access a little away from the main gate. But this plan has run into trouble as the Railways didn’t get permission to cut trees for construction of the new entry-exit. ‘‘We have got permission now to create the new entry-exit. But that will take about four months. The railway station will be opened by the yearend and for the meantime, we will use the ISBT entrance,’’ said a Northern Railways spokesperson.
But cops are wary. By next year, an estimated 3 lakh people are expected to use the railway station, another 2.5 lakh the Metro station and over one lakh commuters the ISBT every day. If another 5.5 lakh people use the already choked existing ISBT premises, Road no 56 will not be able to handle the extra load.
The Anand Vihar Metro line will also start by year end and the cops fear the main road outside the complex will get choked if all the rush to the complex is concentrated at just one point. ‘‘Crossing over to Ghaziabad takes about one hour during peak hours. The ISBT gate is opposite the border, which is anyway very crowded. Granting an NOC to one entry/exit of complex for all three facilities will only compound the jams,’’ said a senior traffic police official.
The Anand Vihar complex will provide internal connectivity among the Metro station, railway station and ISBT, to ensure that those coming to Delhi by train or interstate buses can take the Metro from this point to commute within the Capital.