IIT Delhi-Your insensitivity forced Imran to drop his MBA. Respect Disability. #IIT-Delhi
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Imran Khan from Ahmednagar, (Khan Imran Abdul Rahim) had secured admission to the MBA program at Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Delhi via CAT 2015. (Entry Number: 2016SMT6638). He is a wheelchair user due to Spinal Cord Injury. Insensitive officialdom forced him to withdraw from a career-defining opportunity after just five days. What’s more IIT - Delhi has not bothered to refund the amount of Rs 140,300 despite follow up.
This petition is not just about justice for Imran, but more about no more repeats and a big step towards inclusive education with needed accomodations for persons with disability.
Petition by S Vaidyanathan, an Alumnus of Indian Institute of Management Bangalore, and Co-Founder of The Ganga Trust & The Spinal Foundation
At a time when much of the discourse is about equal opportunity for the disabled, one of India’s most prestigious colleges, Indian Institute of Technology (Delhi), has acted in the most insensitive manner to the needs of an MBA student with disability. Imran had secured admission to the MBA program at IIT Delhi in 2016.
Well in advance of reaching the campus, he had written to IIT-Delhi on his needs for wheelchair accessible accommodation. He had also spoken to Admission Coordinator. An administrative staff in the admissions team, had told him to come and give his needs as written request to the Director and they would be taken care of.
This in itself is shocking, as how IIT Delhi expected a wheelchair user to spend time without accessible accommodation is beyond logical comprehension. On reaching the campus, Imran was allotted a room in the Vindhyachal hostel. The door to the bathroom was narrow and Imran could not get into the bathroom on his wheelchair for his morning routines. Imran cannot walk in any form.
He made a written request and also met the Registrar and Deputy Registrar. Despite repeated emails and written application to the Director and Dean (Student Affairs) requesting for a wheelchair-accessible accommodation, Imran was not provided one. He was made to run from pillar to post with his parents, both of whom are north of 70 in age.
What is more shocking is not just that IIT-Delhi did not deem it right to make the needed changes to make the bathroom in the Vindhyachal hostel accessible but it also refused Imran accommodation in the Nalanda hostel, which was accessible.
He was told that the Nalanda hostel meant only for faculty and PhD students. An exception could have been made, even if temporarily till the accessibility issue in the regular hostel was addressed. During this harrowing period, Imran had to spend considerable amount staying outside in a hotel and he also developed high fever amid stress.
So unwilling was IIT – Delhi to solve his problem that Imran was forced to withdraw from the MBA course in under a week.
This petition demands:
# 1 IIT Delhi makes its campus accessible to students with disability and also takes measures to cater to specific accommodations needed by students with disability. For an example, IIT – Delhi needs to look no further than Indian Institute of Management, Bangalore
# 2 IIT – Delhi must make a public assurance that there will no more repeat of the type of humiliating experience suffered by Imran Khan.
# 3 IIT – Delhi must with three months publish a report on steps taken to make the campus accessible. It will set an example for inclusive education. We are willing to work with them to help accomplish a low-cost accessible campus.
# 4 The Director of IIT Delhi must issue a written apology to Imran Khan
# 5 IIT Delhi must immediately arrange to reimburse the entire amount paid by Imran Khan with appropriate interest (Rs 1,40,500), as by any yardstick that is a massive sum for a course in which the student was not able to join due to lack of support from the institution.
Sign my petition please, which is on behalf of The Spinal Foundation, the Pan-India Self-Help Group for Persons with Spinal Cord Injury, and ask the Ministry of Human Resource Development and IIT-Delhi to take necessary steps to ensure justice for Imran Khan and make sure that persons with disability are provided all needed accomodations to study at this prestigious institution.
Image Courtesy: The Spinal Foundation (www.thespinalfoundation.in
This petition will be delivered to:
· Minister For Human Resource Development – Prakash Javdekar
· Minister for Social Justice & Empowerment – Thawarchand Gehlot
· Joint Secretary & CEO, The National Trust – Mukesh Jain
· Chairman, Indian Institute of Technology, Delhi – Kumara Mangalam Birla
· Director, IIT - Delhi – V Ramagopal Rao
· Dean – Student Affairs, IIT – Delhi – Prof T Sreekrishnan
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