Qualified writers replaced with peons by certain colleges this past week
They may know their rights and be willing to fight for it, but that simply does not seem to be enough for certain colleges in Delhi University, who have made it impossible for disabled students to pass their examinations by replacing their qualified writers with college peons and the like this past week.
“I was to take my English qualifying paper on November 21, but the college refused to allow my writer to accompany me. Instead, the college provided their peon who did not know English. I had to submit a blank paper,” is a complaint registered at the Equal Opportunities Cell by visually-impaired Sudhanshu Kumar, a student from Dyal Singh College.
Another complaint is by Daulat Ram College student Himanshi who has trouble with her hands and legs. She stated in her complaint that her writer was made to leave at the start of the examination and the college provided her a writer half-an-hour late. The new writer was extremely slow and the college also refused to give her any extra time, as a result of which she had to submit an incomplete answer sheet.
Visually-impaired student Najmul Hassan from SGBT Khalsa College also suffered in a similar manner. His complaint said that his writer was replaced by someone who could not even read the question paper.
Equal Opportunities Cell officer on special duty Bipin Tiwary said he had registered a complaint with the university and had sent strongly worded letters to these colleges asking them to prevent such incidents in future, but that as far as past incidents go, there was nothing he can actually do to help these students. “They will not be able to take their exams again and will have to repeat a year, all because they are disabled,” he rued, adding that this was not the first time this had happened.
“It happens every year with such students; the university has all these guidelines and privileges that they are entitled to, but it is of no use if colleges are so insensitive every year,” he said angrily, adding he had foreseen that such incidents could happen and had therefore sent a letter outlining the rights of these students and what the colleges were supposed to do for them about 20 days before the examinations were to begin.
“It is clearly outlined that a student can get his or her own writers and if the college cannot allow that, then it is supposed to provide a qualified writer. In fact, the rules clearly stated that the colleges have to keep a bank of writers,” he said.
“These are cases that have come to light because the students made the effort to come and complain to me here. I do not know if colleges are implementing other rules to make them comfortable. For example, there is a strict rule that they have to be seated on the ground floor. I do not know if all this is being implemented simply because it is impossible for me to go physically to more than 80 colleges to find out,” he said.