The prestigious government girls’ college RKMV and Government Degree College Sanjauli Shimla are going to create history by admitting visually impaired students. Umang Foundation, a public welfare trust, supporting these students and will bear their boarding and lodging expenditure.

Ajai Srivastava, Chairman of Umang Foundation, in a press conference said that with the support of the society, the Foundation is committed to provide every possible support to them. Srivastava stated

It is first time in the history of about 70 years of RKMV; a group of blind girls will study and reside in the college hostel. Since the Govt. has not taken any step to ensure free education to them, Umang Foundation has decided to support them in higher education with the support of the society

Srivastava also revealed that the Umang Foundation has urged the Himachal Pradesh Government to provide free education to all students with visual and other disabilities at college and university level. In a letter to the Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh, Ajai Srivastav reminded him that the Government had made a specific commitment to provide free education to the disabled in its “State Policy for Persons with Disabilities”, which is not being implemented.

In his letter, Srivastava apprised the Chief Minister that it was the outcome of his PIL that Portmore School, Shimla, and three other Govt. School in Jogindernagar, Nagrota Bagwan and Nahan have been declared inclusive residential schools where any disabled students can avail free schooling including boarding and lodging. In Portmore School, Shimla, at present 25 girls with blindness and deafness are studying and the Foundation is providing with them educational devices, braille books and other necessary items.

He has urged the Chief Minister to declare RKMV and Govt. College Sanjouli, Shimla, as Inclusive Colleges, initially, on the analogy of Portmore School where blind students alongwith other disabled students can avail free education including boarding and lodging.