Miranda Tomkinson, 35, a visually-challenged and hearing-impaired postgraduate, failed twice in his UGC exam despite hard work and preparation, simply because the Braille question paper was not available for him and he could not hear the scribe because of his disability. He hopes to clear the exam this December if he gets a Braille question paper. He had given several petitions to the UGC but received no response.
His grievance was among several cases heard by the panel at the state-level public hearing held in the city on Saturday. The panel asked a team of advocates to file a PIL with the Madras high court, seeking immediate arrangement for Braille question papers for the upcoming exam. It has also asked the state commissioner for disabled welfare to approach the UGC and ensure that disabled students write such exams without any problems.
The panel, comprising educationist Vasanthi Devi, A. Ramamurthi, former judge, Madras high court, writer Va. Geetha and disabled rights activists, heard cases on the right to property, education and employment.
Hearing a property dispute case pending for more than a decade, Geetha suggested, “In many cases, it is better to talk to the family members and ask them to share the property with the disabled woman or man instead of approaching the court and fighting the case for several years.”
The panelists stressed that the disabled welfare department spread awareness among families to share their assets with disabled persons without neglecting or abusing them.
Source: Deccan Chronicle