Eflu forms a special cell to help the differently-abled purse their dreams
“I am abled, abled I am,” for Sujith Chandrashekar, these are more than just rhyming words. They come gushing out of this first year BA English (Honours) student at English and Foreign Language University (Eflu), highlighting his determination to pursue higher studies.
What’s interesting is that Sujith has ‘Spastic Cerebral Palsy’ with 75 per cent disability. Yet he goes about his daily chores with a helper and the university authorities applied for a grant from the University Grants Commission (UGC) to cover this expense.
A native of Kottayam, Kerala, Sujith is the first differently-abled student to join BA and says that his parents were reluctant to send him away from home. “My condition never affected my performance. Though I wrote all my exams with the help of a scribe, I scored 95 per cent in 10+2 examination,” he says.
Sujith, however, is one of the 60 differently-abled students who joined Eflu this year, many of them qualifying for admission under general category. Jyothi Priya, a first year Ph.D student in English literature is one such who topped the entrance exam. “I did my PG in Eflu and always wanted to do my Ph.D too from here,” she says.
With an increase in the enrolment of differently-abled students, university authorities have also formed a special cell for the disabled. A welcome party was organised on Friday where 11 differently-abled students received the National Rajiv Gandhi Fellowships from Vice-Chancellor Sunaina Singh.
Though UGC guidelines state a disabled cell has to be formed if there are more than 10 differently-abled students in a varsity, only three varsities have formed such cells in the country.
“I found the going a bit tough in the initial days but the university has taken steps to make my stay comfortable,” Sujith explains. Students like him are also provided with gadgets like voice recorders and laptops. “It is my dream to pursue Ph.D here and I will give my best,” he says, and sings: “I am abled, abled are all. So don’t hesitate, the stage is yours, the world is yours.”