‘Give us justice, save Ayaan’s future’ – Appeal from parents of 11-year-old disabled in accident
The story of Ayaan Zaffar, an 11-year-old from Kashmir, is truly heart breaking. Ayaan, who has low vision, is bedridden after he was disabled in an accident inside his school premises a year ago. The office of the Chief Commissioner for Persons with Disabilities has finally taken note of the matter and has asked for action in 15 days.
A student of Delhi Public School, Srinagar, 11-year-old Ayaan Zaffar, has been confined to a bed for nearly a year. Ayaan, who has low vision, was disabled in school nearly a year ago. He was walking inside the school premises from one department to another when he was hit by a school bus.
Ayaan’s parents allege that his class teacher told him to go by himself to collect a book. While crossing a small lane within the school compound, he was hit by the school bus and left physically disabled.
“His teacher told him to walk on ahead when she knew he couldn’t see clearly”, alleges Dr Zaffar ul Rehman, Ayaan’s father, a dentist. “He is not able to move independently now”. “The school took him to a local hospital in Nowgam for treatment, but we didn’t get any clear information from medical authorities either”.
Ayaan was injured inside his school
Ayaan’s parents say appeals to the police and school authorities have gone unheard. They finally turned to Disability Welfare Trust, Srinagar-based NGO, that has promised to get the issue heard. Thanks to their intervention, the Chief Commissioner for Persons with Disabilities has taken note of the matter and sought a response from school authorities in 15 days. In a letter it has asked for details of the action taken.
“The parents have the right to move court to get justice and as social workers we need to come forward and ensure they get the support they need”, said Dr Chintanjeet Sarna, Member, Disability Welfare Trust. “Every child has the right to an education and safety”.
Under the Rights of Persons with Disabilities Act 2016, children with disabilities are entitled certain protections, adds Zaheer Jan, also a member of Disability Welfare Trust. “After the removal of Article 370, these laws are applicable to Jammu and Kashmir as well. Inclusive education is as important component of the Act”.
Police delay in FIR
It’s not just the school Ayaan’s parents are upset with. Even the local police, they allege, delayed filing an FIR in the matter. Instead the parents were urged to sort the matter out privately with the school. Ayaan’s parents say they have borne considerable medical expenses in getting Ayaan treated in hospitals in Mumbai and Chennai and want the school to take some financial responsibility.
“Ayaan had a visual disability but now he has become a wheelchair user, and this is due to the teacher’s negligence”, adds Dr Rahman. “We only want justice so that we save our child future”.
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