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Campus Connect: Pune institutes’ infrastructure lacks all-inclusive education touch

Why differently abled struggle to cope in Pune’s top colleges

pune Updated: Dec 15, 2017 15:03 IST
Ananya Barua
Ananya Barua
Hindustan Times, Pune
Pune,institutes,infrastructure
A ramp in Fergusson College allows students on wheelchairs to access the building. However, once inside, there are no lifts for the students to get any further.(RAHUL RAUT/HT PHOTO)

Although Pune is a major educational hub with numerous institutes and deemed universities, the absence of specially-designed toilets for the physically challenged or ramps and lifts at these establishments, puts the students in question at a distinct disadvantage.

No less than the Savitribai Phule Pune University (SPPU) and leading colleges like Fergusson College, College of Engineering Pune (COEP) and Nowrosjee Wadia College are guilty of displaying a serious lack of sensitivity to the physically challenged.

Speaking to HT, authorities at Fergusson, Wadia and COEP said they could not make any structural changes as the institutes were housed in heritage buildings.

However, while some facilities are available for the visually impaired, lack of lifts and ramps in every building, is one of the inaccessible features of these hallowed institutions. “Honestly, the lack of facilities that we have is because of the space constraint and the fact that this is a heritage building and not much can be redone. We are trying to find our way around and make the campus more accessible,” says Samir Terdalkar, secretary, academic council, Fergusson College.

Manasi Shinde, a 23-year-old SPPU postgraduate student of history said that travelling to and from the campus becomes an issue. “Visible changes have been made that I appreciate, but honestly, they are not enough. For instance, while many buildings have ramps, there are no lifts. So I can enter, but not really go to a particular floor. Plus, the lack of accessible toilets continues to remain,” said the wheelchair-bound, history postgraduate student.

First Published: Dec 15, 2017 15:03 IST