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Resource id #4 Shocker for Disability Sector, “Handicapped University” comes up in U.P. with State’s blessing - Volume 3 Issue 15: Disability News and Information Service for India

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Volume 3 Issue 15 - August 01, 2005

Shocker for Disability Sector, “Handicapped University” comes up in U.P. with State’s blessing

D.N.I.S. News Network- In a bolt from the blue for the disability sector’s fight for an Inclusive Education system in the country, a so-called "exclusive” University has been set up for people with disabilities and to top it all has been named "Handicapped University”.

The Jagadguru Rambhadracharya Handicapped University at Chitrakoot in Uttar Pradesh (U.P.) is now open for admissions and shamelessly claims to be “the only University of its kind not only in India but all over the world.”

An introduction in the university's website clearly showcases the flawed and potentially disastrous misinterpretation of needs of people with disabilities to access higher education. "It has been felt that persons with disabilities need special arrangement in the environment for their mobility and independent functioning, the introduction says, explaining the rationale behind fostering an institution for segregation in the name of a university.

Added to this, it conveniently misinterprets the Disability Act 1995 stating, "It is also a fact that many Institutes have architectural barriers and therefore, persons with disabilities find it difficult for their day-to-day functioning in these places." Going by this logic, there would soon be a "handicapped restaurant", "handicapped cinema" and so on.

But what is outrageous is the fact that this charity model of segregating children and youth with disability has the blessing of the Uttar Pradesh Government and was established by an Act of the State Legislature in 2001. Further, the name of the said University has already been included in the list of Universities maintained by the University Grants Commission under section 2(f) and it has been declared eligible to receive central assistance under section 12(b) of the University Grants Commission Act 1956.

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