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DU gets ready for disabled

DU colleges are working at a frenetic pace to build ramps before session starts, in line with a fiat to make campuses disabled-friendly.

india Updated: Jun 09, 2007 13:00 IST

Delhi University (DU) colleges are working at a frenetic pace to build ramps before session starts, in line with a fiat to make campuses disabled-friendly.

After an access audit of the university, DU’s Academic Council has decided to make key buildings accessible to all. “In the first phase, we have started work on four buildings, which include two libraries and two hostels,” said Dr SK Vij, dean, students welfare.

“We are conscious of the needs of all our students and believe in equal opportunity and access to all,” he said. “We are still far from making the entire campus completely accessible to the disabled but at least a start has been made. There are several colleges that have ramps already and the rest should have them ready by this session.”

Talking about renovation plans, he said, “The university will come up with a big Braille library, completely equipped with embossing machines, in case students need to take notes or make copies of something.” Also on the cards are the JAWS-enabled ‘talking computers,’ for the blind.

While some colleges like Ventakeshwara College, Ram Lal Anand, Daulat Ram, Hindu, Hansraj already have ramps, some like Gargi and Kamala Nehru are in the process of constructing new ramps.

“We have some applications from students with special needs, hence we shall have something in place before the new session starts,” said Meera Ramachandran, principal, Gargi College.

“We have some ramps for access to classrooms but we are working on plans to make auditoriums and canteens accessible,” said Minoti Chatterjee, principal, Kamala Nehru College. The college has asked for grants to have an Ambulift, so physically challenged students can access classrooms on all floors.

Similarly, almost after five years of efforts, one ramp was constructed at Lady Shri Ram College last year. This year, the administration block has also been made accessible to the disabled.

Last year, Sriram College of Commerce had built a few ramps for to make the college accessible to a wheelchair-bound student.

Principal Dr PC Jain hopes to accommodate more disabled students this year. “I also hope to provide Pooja Sharma (last year’s candidate) with a room that can meet her needs.”