Blind woman gets Rlys job after 4-yr struggle
Kundan Pandey TNN
Indore:Avisually challenged woman who cleared the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) with distinction in 2008 but was denied posting got justice after a four-year battle and the intervention of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh. Purnima Jain, with 75% visual disability, has been offered an Indian Railway Personnel Services (IRPS) posting under Group B of Class I.
Although Purnima is willing to take up the new job, she isn’t satisfied with the posting. Her scores, she says, are on a par with those selected for IAS. “It’s a sort of double marginalization: as a woman and then being physically challenged,” Purnima told TOI.
A post-graduate in Public Administration, Purnima cleared the UPSC exams with 1,123 marks and hoped to get into the IAS or IFS. But that was not to be. “The person selected in the 2008 batch had got only 991 marks,” said Purnima, adding, “I got 210 marks out of 300 in the interview, equal to that of the topper.”
When her order wasn’t issued, she moved the Madhya Pradesh high court in which UPSC and Department of Personnel and Training (DoPT) raised “questions of maintainability”, saying the court had no jurisdiction in such cases. “I approached the Central Administrative Tribunal and finally the decision was in my favour,” said Purnima. But the government was not keen on implementing the order. So, she approached Union minister V Narayanasamy who assured her of action in two or three weeks. Though the UPSC then recommended her name, no order came, which forced her to meet PM Manmohan Singh.
Soon, she got a letter from DoPT offering her a job in Indian Railways Personnel Service (IRPS) which she is going to take up next week. “I deserve more than what I am getting. But I am happy that I finally secured the position,” Purnima told TOI.
FIGHT TO WORK
A SHAME ON THE GOVERNMENT
Purnima Jain, with 75% visual disability, clears UPSC exams in 2008 with distinction but given no posting Moves MP high court, but govt argues that the court has no jurisdiction. She then moves the Central Administrative Tribunal which orders she be given a posting
No action on order, she meets Union minister Narayanasamy, followed by PM
Finally, govt gives her Class I railway job
All they need is a SPECIAL TOUCH
Bangalore is a city in a hurry, growing swiftly and thoughtlessly. It is only families of children with disabilities which realize that the city has almost forgotten their little ones with their little needs
Saswati Mukherjee B | TNN
Ishaan Awasthi is like any other eight-year-old till Ram Shankar Nikumbh realizes him to be a special child – a dyslexic in need of extra help to comprehend even schoolwork. Ishaan — of the popular Bollywood flick ‘Taare Zameen Par’ — may have found his guardian angel in Nikumbh, but very few special kids in Bangalore have access to minimum facilities on city roads and public places, least of all a guardian angel to help them overcome their challenges to lead a dignified life.
Cosmopolitan city Bangalore — often labelled the best when it comes to amenities, facilities and infrastructure — sadly falls flat on its face when it comes to being a disabled-friendly city, especially for children. Be it children with physical disabilities or those with learning disabilities, there is little the city has to offer in terms of facilities so they have access to a normal life.
PUBLIC TRANSPORT INACCESSIBLE
The stark absence of ramps and uneven footpaths make it difficult for parents to manoeuvre the wheelchairs of their special children properly on city roads. “Getting on to a bus is almost ruled out due to the high floors. For special children, even travelling in an auto is tough as they have to be lifted and placed inside. In a nutshell, parents of children with special needs need to use private vehicles at all times. There has to be a consolidated and consistent political will from the state government to help such children,” said Jayashree Ramesh, director of Asha.
“Our own building has a footpath entrance. No one really gives accessibility issues for special children a thought, and that is really unfortunate,” said Usha Ramnathan, director of Asha Foundation, a therapy centre for children with neurological challenges.
SOCIETY HAS TO BE SENSITIVE
There’s been a lot of progress, but when it comes to upgrading facilities to accommodate the special child, the efforts are few and inconsistent. “People think twice when it comes to sharing a swimming pool with special children. There is the constant fear of them either urinating or passing motion while in the swimming pool, which is the biggest deterrent to them enjoying a swim. In terms of communication devices, a lot more needs to be devised to help children with special needs,” said Vaishali Pai, founder of Tamahar Trust, a centre working towards integrating special children with the mainstream.
“Principals of mainstream schools often cite a lack of acceptance by parents of regular kids to refuse admission to special kids. Parents often have a difficult time coping with the stares they get in public, with their special child in tow. As a result, parents mostly end up giving social gatherings a miss,” said Priya Sandeep, a rehabilitation psychologist who heads Hope – The Early Intervention Centre.
A PLAY SPACE CREATED BY KILIKILI