Asia’s first centre for higher education for the physically and visually challenged persons - the Shakuntala Mishra Rehabilitation University - became a reality when the institution’s opening academic session was inaugurated by the Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister, Mayawati on Friday. The university, named after the mother of the U.P. Advisory Council Chairman and BSP leader , Satish Chandra Mishra, is located in Lucknow.
The inaugural function was held at the Chief Minister’s 5 Kalidas Marg official residence. Six disciplines have been started in the first session, including B.Ed and two diploma courses. Forty-five students have been enrolled in the opening session. Spread over 175 acres, the university houses a special education faculty for teaching subjects related with disability, besides other faculties. Teachers’ appointments have already been made.
Fifty per cent seats of various courses have been reserved for the disabled persons, of which half of the seats were reserved for the visually impaired.
Catalyst for job opportunities
Ms. Mayawati noted that the university would serve as a catalyst for better job opportunities for the pass outs and will also instil a feeling of self-confidence in them. The Chief Minister said the courses recognised by the Indian Rehabilitation Council would be conducted in the university and a research unit would also be set up for removing impediments coming in the way of disability, through which research works of world class would be undertaken. Ms. Mayawati said the BSP government was committed to fulfil the requirements of the disabled persons as per the provisions of the Disability Act.
The Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister said when she came to power for the first time in 1995, a Disabled Welfare Department was set up, which was the first of its kind in the country. Thereafter, in 2002 her Government set up a Intermediate college for the visually impaired persons, Ms. Mayawati said.
Simultaneously, she also inaugurated the new premises of the Lucknow district jail, model jail and Nari Bandi Niketan ( jail for women inmates ) . The new jail premises have now been shifted to Mohanlalganj in Lucknow district. Addressing the function, Ms. Mayawati said the new jail buildings were equipped with high class security paraphernalia. While the new model jail and Nari Bandi Niketan will have a capacity of 600 and 420 prisoners, the new district jail can house 3640 inmates as compared to the 1004 prisoners lodged in the old district jail.