When Pawan Kumar, a speech-impaired student, got admission to the coveted BCom Programme at Delhi University (DU), he was ecstatic. But the euphoria didn’t last long as Kumar could not comprehend the lectures properly.
Though the university had arranged an interpreter for Kumar, he left the student because of the poor salary DU was offering him. “He was never regular. The paltry money he was paid didn’t motivate him to work with me. Moreover, he was unable to interpret the lecturers well,” said Kumar, a former student at Motilal Nehru College.
The varsity had only three fully speech-impaired students. Out of the three, Kumar quit and has now taken admission in a distance learning programme at Madurai Kamraj University, despite hundreds of seats, reserved for people like him, lying vacant in the regular colleges of DU.
Though the university has reserved more than 1,500 seats for disabled students, many seats lie vacant. Many feel that this is due to the lack of proper ramps, elevators and other facilities that are prerequisites for the disabled.
Take, for instance, Sri Venkateswara College. Like most others in DU, it does not have a lift. Asked about the problem, the admission in-charge of the college said: “Why would we spend lakhs for the benefit of just a couple of students?”
Recently, Shyama Prasad Mukherjee College got an application from an orthopedically-impaired student but the college doesn’t have ramps. Seema Parihar, deputy dean, Student’s Welfare, said: “Peers are normally helpful, but the college authorities need to do some more.”