Webinar on higher education for divyangian at PU

During his talk Dr Das shared one of his experiences of Europe visit along with his student who was physically challenged

Webinar on higher education for divyangian at PU

Chandigarh: Equal Opportunity Cell Person with disabilities, Panjab University Chandigarh organized a webinar on the topic of "Higher Education for Divyangjan: NEP 2020” on the occasion of International Day of Persons with Disabilities-2020. This day is celebrated for disable people to sensitize them and other people about the issues faced by disabled and celebrate the abilities and achievements of disabled people. Disability is a human condition, there is hardly any person who is not suffering from disability. It is not only physical but social also. This day is celebrated for empowering disable people so that they don’t feel dishonored or discouraged.

Prof. Raj Kumar, Vice Chancellor, Panjab University while appreciating the EOC  for organizing this event, mentioned that by organizing such type of event we can change the mind set of society towards the PwDs. For the change all over the India, lot of activities/tasks are being undertaken  by the society and Government towards the welfare of PwDs but still a lot has to be done. Young people must come forward for Divyangjan to provide opportunities to them. Prof Kumar also emphasized that in University we should focus to increase the enrolment of PwDs for their higher education because the education is only the way for their respectful survival in society.

Dr. Himangshu Das ,Director of National Institute for Empowerment of Persons with Visual Disabilities (NIEPVD) Dehradun; Chief Coordinator-National Early Intervention and Pre-School mission; and Chairperson-National Mental Health Rehabilitation Helpline, Government of India, in his address, mentioned that Universities and other educational institutes must organize the awareness programs for the PwDs. This is because with the help of awareness program we can learn how we can educate others on the sensitive issues and support to the stakeholder’s society. During his talk Dr Das shared one of his experiences of Europe visit along with his student who was physically challenged. His student was enquired a lot of about his extent of disability, but when they reached there it was found that everything in his room and surrounding was adjusted in such a way that everything was made convenient for him. He mentioned that India is poorer support provider for the needs of special people. Punjab also performed poor. It is high time to take stand for disable people.  It is always not about resources as Bhutan is very poor country but it is doing a lot for its special people. We need to learn that how can we promote higher education in Divyangjan with or without resources. As many countries look at disable people as entrepreneur and taxpayers. But in India, we think they are dependent on us. We need to change this mentality, as this make them mentally ill. Empathy of society is very important for such people. We need to learn to give empathy instead of sympathy to boost their self-esteem and we need to stop discriminate them.Dr Das cited we should create empathetic and accessible society. Whenever we talk to successful special people about how they overcome barriers in their path, their answer is always Empathy. Empathy is the key to pass all the barriers.

Accommodation, adaption, provisions, equity for special people is needed. 5% quota is provided to them in higher education, but no one think about their basic education. If they don’t get basic education, how will they reach at higher education level? We should start special courses for them. We should understand higher education across disability. Most of the opportunities are given to mild and moderate disability and severe disability is ignored. We need to take care of that. Disable people lack competency, we should encourage them.

Universities can play evolving role at community level. Universities can focus on skill training and providing reasonable accommodations. Universities should share their funds wisely and develop resources in various forms. There are two full-fledged universities in UP for Human resource development. Early childhood, schooling everything needs to be take care of for such people. Human resource development at university level is very important, presently it is done by NGOs only. University should focus on more admissions of special people and make everything accessible to them. Divyangjan need support system. Special departments should be made for special education of such people. Administration people should taught social responsibility. Youth should be sensitized for Divyangjan. An advisory board should be made to evaluate that how can we help special people. In Faculty development programs, faculty should also be taught about strengths and abilities of special people and their employment. Universities should fill all the backlog positions of disable people and promote their employment as it will create huge impact.

Dr. Das added that disable people should not be treated with sympathy and pity, but we should encourage and empower them. We should learn to boost up their moral. Our mindset is not clear about what they can do? We should make them friends and give them needed social support.

In the last Dr Ramesh Kataria, Coordinator EO-Cell PwDs, Panjab University thanks to worthy Vice Chancellor for motivation, PU, EO-Cell PwDs staff for technical support to event, organizing committee namely Dr Rajesh Jaiswal, Dr Vinod, Dr Harmail, Dr Aman Khera, Dr Neelima  Dhingra, Ms Rimpi, Ms Pardeep  Kumari and Mr Dheeru Yadev for coordinating the event, Mr Kulwinder Singh for technical help and Director computer center for providing the all technical support. Dr Kataria also thanks to the students, scholars and all other audiences for active participation.