Pune: The State government, in a recent GR, has directed that with adherence to the ‘The Rights of Persons with Disabilities Act, 2016’, it is mandatory even for the institutes of education, physical education and law to reserve not less than 5 per cent of their seats for the physically challenged candidates.
According to the Rights of Persons with Disabilities Act, 2016, “All government institutions of higher education and other higher education institutions receiving aid from the government shall reserve not less than five per cent seats for persons with benchmark disabilities. Also, the person with benchmark disabilities shall be given an upper age relaxation of five years for admission to institutions of higher education.”
The State government has also directed that the implementation of the law needs to be carried out strictly by the education department.
Reacting to the GR, Rafiq Khan, disability activist, said that although this GR is a welcome one, there is a need to make some other changes as well in order to ensure maximum convenience to the physically challenged.
“We also demand that along with the disabled students themselves, there is a need to give reservation to the children whose parents are physically challenged. As these children are physically normal and they do not get any benefits under the physically challenged quota. However, considering the fact that the disabled parents, too, have a hard time raising the normal children, there is a need to reserve seats for these children as well,” Khan said.
He further added, “Also, the fees of the schools and colleges are very high, and many times, the disabled parents are employed at jobs where they do not necessarily have good remuneration. So, such students should be given up to 50 per cent concession in the fees as well.”
Apart from these, he also added that just giving reservation is not the solution to all the problems of the physically challenged, and now, there is a need to make schools, colleges, and the whole infrastructure even more disabled friendly.