There is a lack of awareness in India when its comes to extending help to socially disadvantaged groups, said the speakers at a discussion on inclusive education at Jadavpur University on Friday.
The discussion, a part of Anweshan 2009, was organised by Anwesha an association of parents and well-wishers of children and persons with hearing impairment. Speaking on the occasion, assistant commissioner (disabilities), K S Adhikary, said: “Constituting only 2% of the population, the physically challenged are considered a minority in India. We don’t have time for them.”
Sharing his experience as a state government officer, Adhikary said his department organises several seminars round the year on inclusive education. But there is a lack of interest. “We had once organised a foundation course, but had to drop it as no one enrolled,” he said.
Several mainstream schools have denied admission to disabled students on grounds that their teachers lack the requisite training. But the discussion pointed out that the government organises courses to train teachers in this aspect at a nominal rate.
Kartick Sen, registrar of Netaji Subhash Engineering College, said: “Every school should have seats reserved for disabled students.”
Pradipta Kanungo, principal of Patha Bhavan Montessori and Primary School, said they always encourage students with hearing impairment to take admission in their school. “Some of them are more meritorious than my normal students,” she said.
The second part of the programme saw a host of cultural activities organised by Prayas, a group working with underprivileged children. Students of Jadavpur Vidyapith, Patha Bhavan and children of Anwesha took part in it.
Source: Times of India