Finding a responsible person to do the writing for them in the examination hall is no less a source of tension for blind students than the problems created by their disability. Lack of writers is particular painful for blind students studying for an advanced degrees in universities.
Jaydev Thakkar is a blind student studying for a BEd degree. Despite his disability, he is working hard to clear the exams so that he can become a teacher. "I want to be independent. Education is the only stick which will help me find my way in life," he said.
With exams round the corner, Thakkar is jittery not because he is not well prepared. His anxiety stems from the fact that he has not been able to find himself a writer. What adds to his anxiety is the nagging fear that the writer, even if one is found to write his exams, may not honour his commitment and ditch him at the last moment!
"In the last exam, my writer failed to turn up at the last moment and I had no option but to drop the exam. I want to complete my education and take up a job. I need somebody's help to realize this dream," he said.
Thakkar is not alone. In every exam season, there are over 250 blind students appearing in BA, BSc, BCom, BEd and other examinations. A majority of these students are not able to find themselves a writer.
This festive season, voluntary agencies have been urging people to give hope to blind students by volunteering to become their writers. In fact, for the first time, a 'writers' bank' has been created for blind students who have dared to pursue higher education.
"There are lakhs of people who donate money on auspicious occasions and during the festive season. But if young people donate a bit of their time and offer to become writers, this would be the best gift they can give to a young boy or girl with a disability," said Kanti Parmar of Navjyoti Andhjan Mandal.
Parmar has now floated a Writers' Bank where youths can sign up to become writers for blind students during exams. "Earlier, there was only one university exam. With the semester system, we have to hunt for writers twice a year. This is a big source of tension for blind students as many fail to get writers. After the fake writers' scam, many parents too do not send their children to write exams for blind candidates," Parmar said.
Sanjay Bhave, professor at HK Arts College, said that there are more than 50 blind students in his college who always find it difficult to get writers. "Just as the school board finds writers for disabled students, the university should assume the responsibility for providing writers to blind students," Bhave said.
We appeal to young people to come forward and become writers for blind students ahead of the university exams so that their future is not impeded by their physical disability. It is all very well to post righteous messages on social networking sites, but it is even better to become the eyes of these students for three hours to earn immense goodwill.
Devid Joshi, BA student
"I am currently in BA first year. It is difficult to find writers especially those who can write both Sanskrit and English. Last time, my writer came half-an-hour late because of which I was unable to complete my paper."
Source: Times of India