Now HP Govt. misleading CCPD on disability issue after blatantly violating High Court orders
No computer lab with internet facility for blind children, no library for deaf students, no digital books for blind students, no computer teacher and no mobility instructor for blind children, no provision of psychological counselling of disabled children
SHIMLA- Himachal Pradesh Government is presenting a misleading picture of disability sector before the Chief Commissioner for Persons with Disabilities (CCPD) of the union government. But the fact is that the basic provisions of the Disability Act and High Court’s orders are blatantly being violated; and the disabled are left with no option but to demonstrate in the streets or to file PIL in the High Court. The CCPD is here to take stock of the situation.
In a memorandum submitted to CCPD by Umang Foundation, an organization working for the disabled in Himachal on September 27, 2016, noted activist and chairman of Umang Foundation Ajai Srivastava alleged that the government is not implementing even the High Court’s judgements on disability.
Chief Commissioner for Persons with Disabilities (Government of India) is on visit to Himachal Pradesh from September 27 to to 29, 2016. He would interact with the differently abled persons and various NGOs working for them at 1.30 P.M in Conference Room, Armsdale Building H.P. Secretariat on September 28. Interested persons and NGOs were invited to meet the Chief Commissioner at the given venue.
The memorandum says, “On Ajai Srivastava’s PIL, the High Court had directed the government and State Universities on 4th June, 2015, to provide free education to the disabled students in all courses up to university level. The state universities have given complete fee waiver to the disabled students but the government has neither filed an appeal against the judgment nor bothered to implement it in schools and colleges. ” The government is denying three percent reservation to the disabled in jobs. In the last three years disability quota was rarely mentioned in job advertisements.
The government has not implemented the CCPD’s examination guidelines for the blind persons despite High Court’s order on his PIL. Special school for blind and deaf girls at Sundernagar and special school for boys at Dhalli, Shimla are poorly managed and lack basic amenities.
In both the schools, there is no computer lab with internet facility for blind children, no library for deaf students, no digital books for blind students, no computer teacher and no mobility instructor for blind children. There is no provision of psychological counselling of disabled children in special schools. Many children are suffering from psychological problems and are in dire need of counselling.
Not only these schools, four designated ‘inclusive senior secondary schools’ at Portmore Shimla, Nahan, Nagrota Bagwan (Kangra) and Joginder Nagar(Mandi) have enrolled disabled students without proper facilities. Like other inclusive schools, the blind girl students at local Portmore school have never been given a chance to learn and work on computer which is their basic necessity for them, Srivastava said.
In violation of the Disability Act, the office of State Disability Commissioner has been put in complete defunct mode which was meant to give easy and speedy justice to the disabled.
The government has given additional charge of disability commissioner to a special secretary for name sake only who does nothing as commissioner. Nothing has been done to provide in-service training to the blind employees.
The government has completely failed on the accessibility front also. No initiative has been taken to create barrier free environment in the State. Leave apart other government offices; the office of director welfare is not accessible.