Volume 4 Issue 16 - August 15, 2006

Bright dyslexic girl denied admission in College of Art

D.N.I.S. News NetworkSonum Gayatri Malhotra, a bright student having dyslexia, has secured 84 per cent in Class XII. Yet, the College of Art, Delhi, has refused admission to her in Bachelor of Fine Arts course, on grounds that she has not submitted the ‘suitability’ certificate from Ministry of Labour’s Vocational Rehabilitation Centre.

There is still one seat vacant in the college in the disability category. But a student who desires to join is not allowed, simply because the Vocational Rehabilitation Centre (V.R.C.) under the Ministry of Labour does not recognise dyslexia as a disability and as a result refuses to issue her a ‘suitability’ certificate. Sonum had been assessed by a medical board at A.I.I.M.S. and then by an independent board set up by Delhi University (D.U.), which rated her level of disability at 5 on a scale of 1to10.

Sonum’s parents approached Dean-in-charge of disability at D.U., S.K. Vij, who expressed his helplessness.

The harassed parents then sought the help of Disabled Rights Group (D.R.G.). The matter was brought to the attention of Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit, who immediately wrote to the concerned college authorities clearly directing them to give the student provisional admission. Despite the Chief Minister’s personal intervention, the college refused to admit Sonum.

D.R.G. then organised a Press Conference in Delhi to highlight this issue in the media and in turn pressurise the concerned authorities to take positive action. One hopes that justice will finally prevail, and a student who has, despite her disability, scored 84 per cent in Class XII, will ultimately be admitted to a course she really wants to do.

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