Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Lack of Accessible Accommodation at Delhi University- a major discouragement for students with disabilities

Hi,


Barrier Free Accommodation for students with disabilities in Delhi has been an issue of concern for many years now. However, there has been no organised effort from the Government of Delhi on this front. 


In the name of accommodation, several private hostels in cramped places have come up in and around the Delhi University campus to lure disabled students too, however, the facilities are far from being satisfactory.  The incidence of rape with a blind girl living in a similar hostel by the hostel owner two years ago is an example of the pathetic and unsafe situations,  that students with disabilities have to live. 


There are more than 1600 seats reserved for students with disabilities in various courses/colleges under Delhi University, however this year not even 450 were filled up. The lack of barrier free accommodation is a major discouragement and the precious seats in the University are going vacant which is a growing concern among activists. 


Here is a recent news from Indian Express that underlines the above issue and needs to be solved on an urgent basis.

regards


SC Vashishth

Physically handicapped students worst affected (to read from source click on the weblink)


Express News Service, Delhi

Among those waiting for the new under-graduate girls’ hostel to open are hundreds of physically handicapped students.
Accommodation close to their college is an important factor for physically handicapped students, and many choose against joining DU for the lack hostels.
Incidentally, DU is trying hard to encourage physically handicapped candidates to apply for admission under its reserved category. The University reserves 1,600 under-graduate seats under this category.
According to Dr Nisha Singh of DU Equal Opportunity Cell (EOC), lack of affordable accommodation is a major hurdle that discourages disabled students, especially girls from taking up admission. “The fees in most college hostels is very high, and only a few, like Ramjas college, provide concession. We would like the new hostel to be made available soon and request the University to reserve more seats for disabled students,” she said.

During admissions this year, of the 461 students who registered for admission under the PH quota in the first list of admissions, only 135 were girls.


Officials who counsel disabled students during admissions had cited lack of safe and easily accessible accommodation for girls as a major reason for the skewed gender ratio.
Out of nearly 600 students who took admission under the PH quota when admissions closed this year, only about half managed to find accommodation in college hostels.
Others were forced to depend on hostels run by the government or agencies associated to it.

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