Despite Delhi University’s efforts to make its environment more accessible and friendly for the differently-abled, many seats reserved for students of this category will probably fall vacant again this year. Though colleges are tweaking the infrastructure with changes to increase accessibility, there doesn’t seem to be an increase in the number of takers for such facilities.
The university has close to 1,000 seats reserved for the physically challenged and as of Monday (June 16), only 300 candidates had applied for the same. “We had received a total 301 forms till the last day of receipt of applications in 2007. The number is not any different this year. However, we are expecting outstation candidates awaiting their state board results to approach us soon,” said Seems M. Parihar, admission in-charge of physically handicapped students..
Though officials attribute the unchanged trend in applications to lack of awareness, Dean of Students’ Welfare S.K. Vij feels that there aren’t enough candidates in this category as many drop out during school and don’t make it to the college level.
While there may not be any change in the number of applicants, the composition sure has undergone a makeover. “Earlier we were approached more by visually impaired students. But this year those with orthopaedic disabilities have ventured out and their numbers are more than the visually challenged candidates. The Metro rail connectivity has definitely contributed to this change,” said Komal Kamra, who is also in-charge of admissions for the differently-abled.
The university will, for the first time, organise an orientation programme for its physically challenged students where students will be taken around the campus and introduced to their college staff.