Shimla: Higher education is not a far dream for the disabled students at Himachal Pradesh University. The University has taken many initiatives to make the campus inclusive in the last three years. Now results are clearly visible. A good number of visually impaired and other disabled students are studying at the university. About 15 of them are pursuing PhD and most of them have cleared JRF, NET and SLET exams.

Vice-Chancellor Prof. Sikander Kumar said, “Disability is not a curse. It’s part of our diverse society. Our responsibility is to empower them with education and we are committed to it.”

To make campus friendly for disabled students, a project of Rs. 5 crores is in progress, and work of a Lift project has begun and seven more lifts will be constructed in the first phase.  Prof. Sikander Kumar revealed

“Ramps are also being constructed and after modification toilets are being made accessible.”

To ensure proper representation in research, HP University has reserved one supernumerary seat in M.Phil and PhD in each subject to give them. Five percent reservation for them is also in place, VC informed.

The University has also eased out the facility of scribes for visually impaired and other disabled candidates who can’t write due to disability and following the directions of UGC and state government.

Nodal Officer for Disability affairs and in charge of accessibility project Ajai Srivastava said the University is providing the facility of Accessible Library for the disabled students. The library has 17 computers equipped with talking software and Wi-Fi to enable visually impaired students to read online material and scan printed text by listening.

In providing accommodation at the hostels, HP University is allotting hostel accommodation to disabled students on a priority basis. Besides it, the university has pressed a special transport service to pick and drop the disabled students from hostels to campus. The university bus facility is free for them.