Education January 6, 2020
Calicut University move to scrap discriminatory act towards disabled people hailed
Calicut University in Kerala recently scrapped one of their acts which does not allow a deaf person to contest in elections or hold key positions in university. Disabled people and activists cheer the latest move that promotes inclusion.
Calicut University has come in for praise from across India for its move to scrap an act that violates the rights of disabled people. This refers to Section 33 (1) (b) of the Calicut University Act 1975 that disqualifies people with ‘unsound mind or a deaf-mute’ from becoming a part of the senate, syndicate, academic council, boards of studies, student council and finance committee.
The words of the act are blatantly discriminatory and Calicut University has taken note. It scrapped the Act calling it a violation of rights of disabled people.
University officials said this was against the Rights of Persons with Disabilities Act, 2016, prevents equal opportunities to disabled people and does not promote inclusion either. The university received a state principal secretary order to make amendment to laws that violated rights of disabled people.
Varsity registrar CL Joshy told The Times of India, “We have requested the government to strike down a specific provision which has remained in the Calicut University Act, 1975 for long as it discriminates differently abled people and is out of sync with the current scenario. The country has passed several legislation to protect the rights of differently-abled people like the Rights of Persons with Disabilities Act 2016 and we feel that the out-dated provision is against the spirit of the enabling laws”.
Welcome move say disability groups
This step by Calicut University has been widely praised in Kerala and across India. Calling it a welcome move, disability rights activist Jomy Joseph told NewzHook, “The Calicut University has realised the need for inclusion and removed the provision. It is not right to keep aside deaf people and it is clearly violation of law. This should have been done long back. If other universities across India has such laws, they must remove it soon”. It has led to similar demands from other states.
Calicut University to dump disabled-unfriendly University Act which discriminates against person with mental illness, deaf and speech impaired. What is stopping Vice Chancellor Mamidala Jagadesh Kumar to do the same at JNU? Statute 23 of JNU Act violates Article 14, 19(1)(g) and 21 of Indian constitution & also discriminates against people affected by leprosy, deaf and speech impaired. -Dr Satendra Singh, Disability rights activist
Hopefully Calicut University will pave the way for similar steps in other educational institutions.
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