They may be just college students, but for the differently-abled Delhi University (DU) applicants, these counsellors are much more. The counsellors for students with disabilities are trying to be their eyes and ears during the often-intimidating admission season.
“For the five days that I have been here, I have helped a lot of students fill their application forms. It has been a very fulfilling journey so far,” said Akshay Joshi, a student of Hindu College. “The students who are coming to us might be disabled, but have very clear ideas about what they want. They know what colleges and courses they want,” he said.
The university has trained 15 student counsellors to give information about the infrastructure and facilities in colleges and students fill forms. In addition to these students, there are also some who are trained in the usage of sign language and some who are readers for visually impaired students.
“The counsellors have helped me a lot in filling the form and selecting a college and a course. I want to go SRCC and pursue Economics (Honours),” said a differently-abled student who did not want to be named. “Most students want to live in the north campus and be lodged in hostels so that commutation is easy for them,” said Bahvana Rawal, a counsellor who is trained in sign language.
“We had called people with disabilities to tell counsellors about the opportunities. We also held mock drills where the counsellors filled forms,” said Seema M Parihar, deputy dean, students welfare, DU.
“I have been counselling students for the last five years. People used to laugh at me, but I have silenced them now. I hope some of the students can do the same,” said Joginder Singh Saluja, who is orthopaedically challenged.