Current Style: Standard

Current Size: 100%

Need for awareness and enforcement!

The Rights of Persons with Disabilities Act 2016 mandates equal access to opportunities of education for students with disabilities. The law also states that reasonable accommodation measures be provided so that barriers in access don’t deter students from availing these opportunities.
The Marathwada region of Maharashtra is home to several low income families who struggle for their day to day survival. A child with blindness makes it harder for the family to sustain, as the region doesn’t have too many resources for living life with blindness. To avail opportunities in nearby cities like Mumbai or Pune, proves to be costly and in many cases, beyond reach.
The Eyeway Helpdesk in Mumbai received a call from a training institute in Latur which provides free education, study material, food, and accommodation to blind and visually impaired students. Five of their students had to appear for the HSSC (Higher Secondary School Certificate) exams under the Maharashtra State Board. But the examination center allocated was around 20 kilometers away.  
Due to the unavailability of public transport in the backward Marathwada region, the students were forced to use private transport which was extremely expensive and unaffordable. A majority of these blind students receive no support from their families, and they are dependent on disability pension and the help they receive from the training organisation.
The institute approached the district education department to seek allocation in a nearby center but their plea fell on deaf ears. That’s when the Eyeway counselor intervened and equipped the institute’s Braille trainer with the state government guideline which mandates the Board to allot a center nearest to the disabled student’s place of residence.
An official application was lodged with the district authorities along with a copy of the government provision. This had a favourable outcome, and the five blind students cleared their exams with good percentage.
India has a powerful legislation that supports the empowerment and integration of persons with disabilities into the mainstream society. Yet community tends to suffer at the hands of poor implementation.  
Team Eyeway

Facebook comments