Most societies, including India, have now begun to undertake a wide range of educational programmes for people with disability (PwD). Both specialised and integrated primary schools are now operating in most states and cities of the country. Public policy and budgetary support is also available for education of such children.
However, such educational programmes and schools go up to high school level. There are several vocational and skill development programmes too. But, there is no educational opportunity for PwD at the higher education levels; why?
Handicapped University in Chitrakoot (UP) is an exception. Set up in 2001 with the inspiration and active support of Jagadguru Rambhadracharya, and named after him, this unique university has about 1800 students pursuing several undergraduate and post-graduate courses. The faculties of commerce, education, humanities, and fine arts are the most popular.
The inspiration and resources for establishing such a unique higher education institution came to Guruji because of his own pursuit of higher education, despite his disability of blindness from birth. He believed that PwD must pursue higher education for their own development, as well as for the training of next generation.
The Faculty of Fine Arts nurtures talents of students, mostly hearing impaired, to paint, mould and design various art forms; their talent and competence is exceptional; their zest for learning unbelievable. As Head of the Faculty Dr Pandey puts it, these students are committed to finish their graduation and post-graduation studies, and then become teachers.
The current Vice- Chancellor(acting) , Prof Yogesh Chandra Dubey has been supporting the establishment of this university since its inception. For him, the university believes in nurturing academic excellence to support students’ efforts in overcoming disability. For him, the entire university is engaged in fulfilling its social responsibility.
Rajesh Tandon March 30, 2015