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Himachal Pradesh University to form policy for the disabled students

Himachal Pradesh University (HPU) will soon be the first higher education institute in the country to form a policy for persons with disabilities.

The policy will be formulated to ensure equal opportunities at inclusive education to students with disabilities and will be applicable to all colleges affiliated to the university along with the stakeholders involved such as students, teachers, administrative and other staff.

The Executive Council of the university held a meeting recently in which crucial decisions about the provisions of the policy were taken.

Ajai Srivastava is a member of the EC and is also the nodal officer for disability related matters of the university. He has been pushing for the various reforms in the university guidelines that not only have an impact on disabled students but also the employees with disabilities.

Ajai Srivastava is an activist and is also the Chairman of Umang Foundation dedicated to the empowerment of people with disabilities. He is the man behind the idea of creating an official university document that can be used as reference by the students, staff and anyone that is associated with the disability sector. He spoke to NewzHook about the importance of the policy document.

Many a time students miss out on precious admission opportunities due to lack of awareness about their rights. I have also observed that rulings and laws for the protection and empowerment of disabled students are not implemented by the officials due to lack of knowledge about them.Ajai Srivastava, Nodal officer disability affairs, HPU

The policy document will be a handbook that will contain the guidelines and useful information pertaining to admissions and other aspects related to disabled students. Ajai hopes that the document will act as a useful tool for the students and will ensure that their rights are upheld.

It has been decided that Vice-Chancellor will set up a committee to work on the draft of the policy which will then be presented before the Executive Council for approval.

The policy is expected to cover the various laws and legislative provisions that are meant for students, teachers and the other staff members. The policy will also contain important rulings given by the Supreme Court and HP High Court in cases related to the people with disabilities.

Speaking to a news agency about the policy, Vice-Chancellor, Professor Sikander Kumar said, It will benefit all stakeholders, including students, teachers and employees of the university and affiliated colleges,.

This policy document will act as a shield for the disability students ad help them raise their voices and demand for their rights to be upheld. Ajai Srivastava is hoping that the document will be ready by the next year and bring more awareness and clarity. It will also help create understanding and awareness about the rights of disabled.

This is not the first time that HPU has taken steps for the benefit of disabled students. in 2018, the university decided that it would spend around 40 lakh rupees to provide better facilities to students with disabilities such as an inclusive website, library, toilets, ramps etc.

The institute has also been keen on sensitizing the staff about various disabilities through a sensitization programme.

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