Dr. M. M. Pallam Raju
Minister of Human Resource Development
Government of India
Dear Dr. M. M. Pallam Raju,
We the undersigned are astounded to know that the University of Delhi is withdrawing a facility provided to a severely disabled teacher of its College. Taking recourse to technicalities as the benchmark to forcefully evacuate a disabled teacher ignoring further national and international developments in law pertaining to the differently-abled is a sad state of affairs of one of the leading universities in India. Any future perusal by the university authorities of the question of special accommodation at the warden’s flat, Gwyer Hall accorded to Dr. G. N. Saibaba cannot ignore the specific grounds of his 90 percent disability.
Universities should be centres of excellence, where cutting edge ideas are discussed and deliberated towards building a future which is humane and compassionate. University of Delhi is witness to a comparatively sizeable increase in the intake of differently-abled people as faculty, students and non-teaching staff. Given the fact that there are few Universities in the country with such intake it becomes imperative that Delhi University also be a model in providing a humane and dignified space for the differently-abled. And this demands urgently a disable-sensitive administration which is humanely conversant with the new developments in jurisprudence pertaining to the differently-abled.
Under the disabilities laws and United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities 2006 to which India is a signatory country since 2007, it is the primary obligation of all institutions of the Indian Government to provide all facilities including “reasonable accommodation”.
Instead of extending the facilities and making them broad-based for all disabled teachers and students on the campus, the present proceedings of the University to forcefully evict Dr. G. N. Saibaba is highly deplorable. What is required today is to make the University Campuses habitable and create workable environment to the differently-abled teachers and students. It is the legal and ethical obligation of the University to provide reasonable accommodation on the campuses to the differently-abled teachers and students in order to increase their participation in the higher education.
The University of Delhi cannot take away this facility provided to Dr. G. N. Saibaba on any technical grounds which is a total misreading of the very grounds on which the whole premises was allotted to him. On the contrary such facility has to be broadened and extended to all differently-abled teachers and students of the Colleges and Departments.
Thus we would like you to:
1. Implore the University to desist from withdrawing the residence facility to Dr. G.N. Saibaba and,
2. Constitute a high powered committee to find ways and means to provide all facilities including “reasonable accommodation” to disabled persons in the University as mandated by the disabilities laws and United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities ratified by India in 2007.
Issued for endorsement by:
Anand Teltumbde, Professor, School of Management, IIT, Kharagpur. Contact: email@example.com
Maya Pandit Narkar, Professor, Department of English Language Teaching, English and Foreign Languages University, Hyderabad. Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
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