Spe­cial day for dis­abled 33 artists come to­gether, say noth­ing stops them

DU Cor­pus To Pro­mote Equal­ity

The Times of India (New Delhi edition) - - Times City - Manash Pra­tim Go­hain LEND­ING A HAND manash.go­[email protected]­group.com Meenakshi Sinha EX­PRES­SIONS OF THE HEART: [email protected]­group.com Megha Suri Singh [email protected]­group.com

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.’’

Over

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.

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