Shimla, June 5, 2015: The Himachal Pradesh High Court today directed three state-run universities to provide free education to students with more than 40 percent disability and enhance the scholarship for disabled students in schools and colleges.
The universities are The Himachal Pradesh University, CSK Agriculture University, Palampur, and Dr Y.S Parmar University of Horticulture.
Taking cognisance of a letter written by Chairman of Shimla-based NGO, Umang Foundation, Ajay Srivastav, a division bench consisting of Justice Rajiv Sharma and Justice Tarlok Singh Chauhan observed that "the children with special needs having more than 40 percent disability and studying in these three universities be provided free education as per the policy norms adopted by the state government."
The court also directed the state to increase the scholarship for visually-impaired and deaf and dumb students in schools, colleges and professional colleges.
The bench also asked the state to enact a 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 had reserved the judgment on May 11, also awarded Rs.100,000 as costs to Umang Foundation and said the amount would be used for the welfare of special children.
Quoting the World Health Organisation report of 2012, the judges said there are 15 million visually-impaired people in India and "it is a wake-up call for all of us to come together to take steps to recognise their basic human rights to live with dignity."