Despite High Court orders, disabled students in Himachal deprived of rights by Govt.
Deadline fixed by the high court to provide free education to the disabled children has expired three months back. The high court bench in its judgment on 4, June, 2015 had directed the government to provide free education within a period of six months.
SHIMLA- Non-profit organization, Umang Foundation, working for the rights of disabled students in Himachal Pradesh, might file contempt of court petition against the state government soon for non- compliance of High Court orders to provide free education to the disabled children studying in all government schools and colleges and enhancing their scholarships.
The government has completely failed to implement the High Court orders that had given relief to the disabled children studying in special schools at Sundernagar and Dhalli, Shimla on the PIL filed by Ajai Srivastava, Chairman of Umang Foundation. In a letter to the Chief Minister, he gave details of the deliberate contemptuous approach of the bureaucracy.
In a statement, Srivastava said that the deadline fixed by the high court to provide free education to the disabled children has expired three months back. The high court bench comprising of Justice Rajeev Sharma and Justice Tarlok Singh Chauhan in its judgment on 4 June, 2015,had directed the government to provide free education within a period of six months. The disabled children in schools and colleges are now forced to pay fees despite court’s orders.
He said, the judgment says,
It is the duty of the government to provide free education to the children with special needs up to university level.
It is pertinent to mention that H.P. University, Agriculture University, Palampur, and Horticulture University, Solan were given six weeks time for fee waiver for the disabled which has been complied with, he added.
The high court had also made a significant increase in the scholarships of the disabled children which has also not been implemented.
According to the verdict,
The government was directed to create a number of teaching posts of JBT and TGT etc. for special schools at Sundernagar and Dhalli and fill up them by 3rd Decmber, 2015. But nothing has been done so far.” There is no Principal in the special school for the blind and deaf girls at Sundernagar, no teacher to teach any subject to blind girls, and science, maths and drawing teacher for the deaf girls, he said. There are 90 deaf girls from class 1 to 10 and only three teachers are available despite court’s orders. The special boys school for blind and deaf at Dhalli, Shimla also faces same issue.
He further added,
The high court had ordered to open a library and subscribe magazines for the deaf and blind children at Sundernagar and Dhalli by 3rd September, 2015. The court orders to provide facilities like screen readers, screen magnifiers, speech recognition software, text to speech software, optical character recognition(OCR) software etc. to the blind students in the state including the two special schools, have not been complied with.
Shrivastva added that depriving the blind, deaf and other disabled students of their legitimate rights is a deliberate contempt of court of serious nature and he would soon initiate contempt proceeding against the defaulters.