Shimla: The visually impared and other students with special needs in Himachal Pradesh entitled to engage a writer in exams would now get one hour extra time to solve question papers, thanks to the efforts of Society for Disability and Rehabilitation Studies (SDRS), H.P. The Himachal Pradesh Board of School Education recently took a decision to this effect. These students were deprived of their rights and only half-an-hour extra time was given to them in examinations. The Board also decided to give relaxation in age to special children at the time of admission in schools.
Ajai Srivastava, Chairman of SDRS, welcomed the step, saying, “It is the beginning of a new era as the disability rights movement in Himachal Pradesh has started to yield results.” He thanked Prof. C.L.Gupta, hairman of the Board, for taking personal interest in this matter. Talking to HimVani, he said that for the last so many years CBSE was giving one hour extra time to the blind and other disabled students who are unable to write and use the services of a writer during exams. In Himachal Pradesh, most of the blind students come from poor economic background and study in government schools affiliated to the state Board. SDRS had many times taken up this matter with the state government. But Himachal Pradesh Board of School Education was not ready to amend its old rules.
Talking to Himvani, Prof. Gupta said, “The Board wants to give equal opportunity to students with disabilities. This is the reason we decided to give time relaxation.”