High Court directs state varsities to provide free education to special students



Himachal Pradesh High Court on Thursday directed the state owned universities to provide free education to students with more than 40 percent disability and enhance the scholarship for disabled students in schools and colleges.

Division bench of High Court comprising of Mr. Justice Rajiv Sharma and Mr. Justice Tarlok Singh Chauhan gave this order on cognizance of a letter written by Shimla-based NGO Umang Foundation’s honorary Chairman, Professor Ajai Srivastava yesterday.

The court noted “children with special needs having more than 40% disability studying in Himachal Pradesh University in Shimla, Dr Y.S. Parmar University of Horticulture and Forestry in Solan and C.S.K. Himachal Pradesh Krishi Vishvavidyalaya in Palampur to be given free education as per the policy norms adopted by the state government”.

The court also directed the state to increase the scholarship for the visually impaired and the deaf and dumb students in school, colleges and professional colleges.

The bench also asked the state to enact the law within six months for providing free and compulsory education to children with special needs till the university level and professional courses in all the educational institutions, including the universities.

The court, which reserved the judgment on May 11, also awarded Rupees 100,000 as costs to Umang Foundation and said the amount would be used for the welfare of special children.

Quoting the World Health Organization’s report of 2012, the judges said that there are 15 million visually impaired people in India. It is a wake-up call for all of us to come together to take steps to recognize their basic human rights to live with dignity.

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