Differently abled candidates find it difficult to climb up the staircase

On July 30, hundreds of candidates went to a private engineering college, off Sathyamangalam Road, to appear for the Tamil Nadu Public Service Commission's examination for the ‘Combined Subordinate Services'.

Upon reaching the engineering college and coming to know about their examination halls, candidates Surya Nagappan, Syed Ibrahim, Kalanidhi and Sakthivel encountered a doubt. Their doubt was not whether they would clear the examination but whether they would be able to reach the venue at all.

Two of the four differently abled persons had their examination halls on the third floor, the third had it on the second floor and the fourth on the first floor.

They found it so difficult that they reconsidered appearing for the examination, says Mr. Nagappan.

“Climbing three floors is no joke. Syed Ibrahim and I had to inch our way to the third floor, climbing half-a-step at a time on steps we found slippery on account of the smooth finish.”

No relief

Mr. Nagappan complains that neither the college authorities nor the district administration officials were there to provide him relief. “I had clearly mentioned my differently abled status on the application form but it was of no use.”

This was the worst part of the story. What was worse was that the examination centre was so far away from the main road that there was no other transportation facility.

Mr. Ibrahim wants to know why the district administration and the TNPSC had chosen a place that was so far away from the city centre. “It was around 15 km,” he points out. Soon after the examination, Mr. Nagappan says, he contacted the district administration as well as the TNPSC for a clarification but each blamed the other.

“The district administration officials it was the TNPSC's responsibility to inform them that differently abled were among the candidates appearing for the examination so as to enable them to fix a better a centre. The TNPSC officials said they had no role other than approving the centre the district administration identified,” Mr. Nagappan says.

His and the other differently abled persons' worry is that if they have to face the same fate when they appear for a similar government, scheduled on August 7.

The special recruitment for persons with disability for those with class X qualification is just a few days away. They do not know what to do, they lament.

District Collector M. Karunakaran says if the lack of facilities for the previous examination has been brought to his notice, he would have taken efforts to mitigate their trouble.

He promises to provide a friendly centre for the candidates for the ensuing examination.