Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Disabled doctor harassed by Railway authorities

Doctor with disability harassed at station

The Hindu, NEW DELHI, November 1, 2015

A senior government doctor with 70 per cent orthopaedic disability was allegedly harassed and put to inconvenience at the New Delhi railway station early this week. The physician complained that his journey turned into a nightmare because of the highly insensitive behaviour of railway officials there.

“On October 27, I reached the New Delhi railway station to catch my train Kashi Vishwanath from New Delhi to Bareilly,’’ said Dr. Satendra Singh. “From platform 1, I had to reach platform 8; so I asked for a battery-operated car stating I am a disabled person. The man at the counter told me that the service had stopped.

Wheelchair facility was a paid service. Besides, the lift available was not connected to the platform that I wanted to go to,” said Dr. Singh.

Later, a railway official on duty explained that there is a payment issue of the battery car operators. Hence this facility has stopped for the past one-and-a-half months.

“I made a written complaint (number 34) and got a receipt. With great difficulty, I climbed steps and reached platform 8, where I saw a battery-operated car ferrying passengers to platform 10. I clicked a few photographs. This means both the railways officials deliberately gave me false information despite seeing me in crutches. Their signed letter is the testimony,” said Dr. Singh.

He was also misinformed about the platform on which his train had come in. “I managed to catch my train just in time from another platform,” he said.

Meanwhile, responding to Dr. Singh’s official complaint, Anant Swarup, executive director (Public Grievances), Ministry of Railways, said, “A complaint has been received from our valued passenger regarding harassment and misbehaviour by railway staff. Please enquire into the matter immediately and send a report at the earliest.”

Source: The Hindu (1 Nov 15)

Success: IITs to take back disability pic order

IITs can no longer ask students with disabilities applying for the JEE (Advanced) test to submit a photograph showing their disability. The order was issued on a complaint filed by a Delhi University Professor who had earlier forced the UPSC to withdraw a "discriminatory" form.

IITs asked to stop using disability photos in applications
Hindustan Times, new Delhi, 3rd Nov 2015

NEW DELHI: The court of the chief commissioner of persons with disability (CCPD) has asked IITs to stop making physically-challenged applicants of Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) JEE-Advanced fill forms and attach a picture of their disability as it amounts to discrimination. The CCPD wrote to IIT-Bombay on October 28.

Around 1.5 lakh students, who qualify the JEE Mains, are eligible to sit for the JEE Advance. Of the total seats, 3% is reserved for students with disability.

“IITs should stop using the form and adhere to the format of disability certificate as provided in the People with Disability Amendment Rules 2009,” reads the letter from the commissioner.

The CCPD has also said that the candidature of the candidates should not be cancelled on the basis of a different format of the disability certificate.
The CCPD also asked the IITs to provide the details of action taken within 30 days from the receipt of the letter. The matter was highlighted after Professor Satendra Singh, co-ordinator of the enabling unit of the University College of Medical Sciences (University of Delhi), filed a complaint with the court of commissioner.

“In July this year, I received an email from a student about IIT using a different disability performa. Earlier too, I had raised a similar issue with the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) form. Since it is a violation of the Persons with Disabilities (Equal Opportunities, Protection of Rights and Full Participation) Amendment Rules, 2009, which clearly states that a photograph of the face is required in the disability certificate, I wrote to the commissioner,” said Singh.

Earlier too, on Singh’s complaint, the court of CCPD had directed the UPSC to withdraw similar performa asking candidates to attach photo ‘showing’ disability. So in November 2014, the UPSC complied with the commissioner’s letter and discontinued the discriminatory performa.

Students who have gone through this process think it was not required.

“When a disability certificate from a doctor was being submitted, why was there a need to show one’s disability? Such discriminatory rules need to be abandoned all together and authorities need to be more sensitive towards people with disability,” said a first-year computer science student at IIT-Khargapur.