Umang Foundation, a public welfare trust, has urged the state government to immediately provide necessary infrastructure to the vision impaired boys at Govt. Senior Secondary School, Joginder Nagar, District Mandi, which is among the four schools notified by the State for inclusive education. Ajai Srivastava, chairman of the foundation, has said 12 blind students in the school, who got admission more than a month back, have no meaning of study for as they have not been provided with Braille books, audio books, audio players, Braillers and computers with talking software. There is no special educator for vision impaired students and they can not choose music or Yoga as there is no provision of study of both the subjects.
In a letter the Chief Secretary Sudripta Roy, Ajai Srivastava said there is nothing inclusive in that school except the name and the ultimate sufferer are the students. He said mere declaring as ‘inclusive school’ by the government had no sense when no facility had been provided to the students. Most of the vision impaired students belong to poor families and can not afford to buy computers and other educational equipments.
It is pertinent to mention that the state government has notified four senior secondary schools at Portmore Shimla, Nahan, Nagrota Bagwan and Joginder Nagar recently as inclusive schools after Umang Foundation dragged the govt. to the High Court on the matter of lack of proper education facilities for disabled children. Now the government has announced to provide all facilities to the disabled students free of charge including education, hostel and mess charges.
Ajai Srivastava said, “We don’t want to go to the high court in every matter. But our PIL is still pending in the court and if the education department does not take immediate steps to protect the rights of the disabled students, we would have no option but to urge the court for justice.”