Kunal’s tale is strikingly similar to that of Ishan Awasthi’s character in Aamir Khan-starrer Tare Zameen Par — both dyslexics facing problems in their studies but brilliant in extra curricular activities. But the similarities end there.
While in the movie Ishan was helped by a special tutor in his school to realise his potential, in this real life story St. Mary’s School in Safdarjung Enclave expelled Kunal (name changed) from the school because of his disability.
Kunal joined the school in 2000 in Class I but was detected with the disability only in Class VIII. The school refused him a seat in Class IX.
But the Delhi High Court on Friday came to his rescue, directing the school to take him back for the academic session 2010-11 and allow him to join Class IX.
Justice Kailash Gambhir slammed the school for its “insensitive attitude”.
“When such students are to be handled with compassion, sensitivity and offered support, the unfortunate boy has been treated in the most harsh manner by the school,” said the judge.
“Parents of such children are already faced with an arduous task and schools are expected to give them a helping hand instead of leaving them in the lurch,” he added.
Rakesh Nautiyal, the student’s lawyer, told the court: “The school’s decision of refusing him a seat had adverse psychological effect on the minds of the boy as well as his parents.”
The court was especially furious, as the school had not taken back the student despite a direction from the Directorate of Education.
“The boy diagnosed with a case of dyslexia needs to be given special care by the
school authorities, instead of meting out such a harsh and inhumane treatment. It is not in dispute that the student had been performing excellently so far as extra-curricular activities are concerned including in the field of sports,” Justice Gambhir noted.
Issuing it a notice, the High Court has sought an explanation from the city school by July 14.