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Visually impaired Afghan HPU student seeks relief

Tue, 12/03/2019 - 11:36 -- geeta.nair

Bhanu P Lohumi
Tribune News Service
Shimla, December 2

Visually impaired Misbahuddin Yousufzai from Afghanistan is pursuing MA (Political Science) at Himachal Pradesh University here. He does not have a disability certificate. “I have difficulty in reading and writing. I cannot do without a magnifying glass,” he says, regretting that he was unable to finish his exam today. 

“In Afghanistan, terrorism victims alone are given a disability card. In our country, the question paper is objective. It is not so here. I am finding it difficult to cope up with the system”, Misbahuddin, a graduate from Alfalah University, Jalalabad, told The Tribune. He took admission in HPU in July this year. 

A first semester MA student, he is preparing for the exams with some help from the library especially opened for students with disabilities. Visually impaired students sitting for an exam are allowed a writer and additional 20 minutes. But Misbahuddin is not entitled to these concessions. A foreign national, he is not covered under the Rights of Persons with Disabilities Act and does not possess the Unique Disability Identity (UDID) card.

“This is a peculiar case, the first of its kind. We will raise the matter with the authorities. If nothing is done, we will approach the High Court to seek relief for Misbahuddin”, says Ajai Srivastava, a member of the HP State Advisory Board on Disability and chairman, Umang Foundation. “His right to study should not be violated,” he adds.

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