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    Consider the plea of blind students, SC tells Delhi University

    Date : 29/05/2013

    Sambhavana Versus University of Delhi ( CIVIL APPEAL No. 4722-4723 OF 2013)

    The Organisation Sambhavna and HRLN’s Lawyer Pankaj Sinha, has filed a Petition in the Apex Court Bench of Justice B.S.Chauhan and Justice Dipak Misra while addressing to Blind Students to examine the grievances on the introduction of Maths and Science in Delhi University in the Four year Undergraduate Program which has to be started from current academic year.

    “By refusing to stay the introduction of FYUP, the court has made the entire case in fructuous vide its interim order dated May 15, 2013. Once the admission process commences, and adequate provisions for vision impaired students have not been made, it would become impossible for the university to revert to the existing system of three years degree program. It would cause a number of hardships and irreparable loss to about 800-1,000 visually impaired students,” a statement by NGO Sambhavana said on 26 May 2013.

    Pankaj Sinha, advocate said: “It is not possible to bring about necessary changes — especially with regard to infrastructure — within the time period. There is the issue of providing reading material in accessible format. It has been a while since DU shifted to the semester system, but they have not been able to provide accessible reading material to students with disabilities.”

    Supreme Courts says as below in the order&

    We are absolutely conscious that there is an enactment but India has shown its concern by ratifying the said Convention and, therefore, we have reproduced the same. When the University has thought of imparting education in a different way, it has to bear in mind the need of sensitivity and expected societal responsiveness. A visually impaired student is entitled to receive special treatment. Under the constitutional frame the State has to have policies for such categories of people. Article 41 of the Constitution of India casts a duty on the State to make effective provisions for securing, inter alia, the rights of the disabled and those suffering from other infirmities within the limits of economic capacity and development. It is imperative that the authorities look into the real grievances of the visually impaired people as that is the constitutional and statutory policy. The University has to live the role of Loco Parentis and show its concern to redress the grievances in proper perspective. Not for nothing Ralph Waldo Emerson had said “the secret of education is respecting pupil”.

    Thus, the necessity of the visually impaired students should have primacy in the mind of the Empowered

    Committee of the University. Education for visually impaired students is a great hope for them and such a hope is the brightest bliss in their lives. History has recorded with pride that some men with visual impairment have shown high intellectual prowess.

    The anguish and despondency in the life of Milton, the famous English poet, did not deter him to carry out the mission of his life. Lack of vision could not destroy his Will power. Needless to say that he had the support of the society. The ancient sage “Ashtavakra” while laying down the traffic rules had categorically stated that the blind man has the first right on the road. Thus, emphasis has always been laid on the visually impaired persons for many a reason. When we say so, we may not be understood to have said that otherwise impaired or disabled people are to be treated differently in the constitutional and statutory scheme. We have only laid emphasis on the visually impaired students for the purpose of present case. It is the need of the present time that the University shall look into the matter and mitigate the grievances of the visually impaired students as far as possible. We have already indicated that we are not experts. But we are disposed to think that the problem has remained unsolved. The same is required to be addressed to in an opposite manner. We do not intend to say that it has not at all been addressed but there has to be more focus, more empathy and more sensitivity.

    Therefore, we permit the appellant-organisation to submit a representation indicating its grievances and the views to the said Committee within three days which shall be dealt with by the Committee within a week hence.

    Sambhavana-Judgment-dated-29-05-2013.pdf
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