Srinagar schools to be audited; 10 schools identified violating Disabilities Act

TSL NEWS NETWORK

SRINAGAR, APRIL 12: Ten schools in Srinagar have been identified to be in clear violation of the J&K Persons with Disabilities Act, 1998.

Lacking a ramp for students with disabilities, the violation came to light when the schools were notified as polling stations in the district.

Central Scheme for Implementation of Persons with Disabilities Act 1995 mandates enabling a barrier-free environment for students with special needs. Construction of ramps in schools is essential in ensuring that there is a conducive environment in schools for disabled students. National Commission for Protection of Child Rights’ Manual On Safety and Security of Children also ensures it.

District Magistrate Srinagar, Dr Shahid Iqbal Choudhary, Friday issued an order directing these schools to immediately allow construction of ramps at their premises as part of the ECI-mandated Assured Minimum Facilities at polling stations.

He also ordered constitution of a committee headed by the Joint Director Planning which will undertake accessibility audit of all government and private schools in the Srinagar district and submit compiled findings in the regard within a period of one month.

He has also ordered for the setting up of ramps for Persons with Disabilities or PwD voters at notified polling stations. It is mandated as per the directions of the Supreme Court with the aim to facilitate them in exercising their right to full and effective participation and inclusion in society.

The accessibility facilities at schools will be measured against the guidelines of the Supreme Court, Election Commission of India, National Commission for Protection of Child Rights, National Disaster Management Authority among others ensuring the safety of children, providing barrier-free access to schools and enabling the education of children with special needs.

The order states that hindrances in this regard are undue and account for serious violation of provisions of the Representation of Peoples Act 1951.