Punjab University slammed for being insensitive towards needs of disabled students
Disabled students at the Punjab University have come together to demand better infrastructure on campus. From ramps to teaching materials, most facilities on campus are inaccessible.
Disabled students say there are no tactile paths for blind students or railings for support in staircases. Neither is there a separate parking facility. There is no ramp even inside the university auditorium.
This makes getting into classrooms physically tiring for disabled students. Even though e-rickshaw rides have been made free for disabled students, no identity cards have been issued to enable them to use the facility.
The lift in the university library is not accessible for wheelchair users. There are no separate washrooms for disabled people either.
Disabled students are demanding that the university act soon on these facilities. They also want auditory traffic signals to be installed to help blind students as mentioned in the Accessible India campaign.
The hassles faced by blind students are especially major. They are unable to record classroom lectures. They are not given notes in an alternative format, such as audio-books. The Punjab University does not provide scribes for writing examination papers. Blind students have to make all the arrangements themselves.
Students say the lack of accessible infrastructure has affected their social integration. Under the Rights of Persons with Disabilities Act 2016, disabled students cannot be denied the right to be socially active.