HPU to be developed as 'Model Disabled-Accessible Hill University' in the Country


The Himachal Pradesh University (HPU) is being developed as a "model disabled accessible hill university" in the country, its Vice Chancellor Prof Sikander Kumar said Monday.

The VC was speaking at an awareness workshop on visual impairment and other disabilities on the campus to mark World White Cane Day. World White Cane Day is observed annually on October 15 across the globe to recognise the visually impaired people in the society. The white cane is used by the visually impaired as a tool for safe navigation.

An accessible library has already been made in the university to help achieve this target where visually impaired students read books on computer through a talking software, the VC said at the workshop organised by Ajai Srivastava, member of the HPU Executive Council and Nodal Officer (Disability Affairs). A new section of accessible library with 17 computers will come up this month, whereas the university web portal is already developed as fully accessible to the visually impaired, he added.

Besides, 14 lifts, 10 ramps and accessible toilets on the campus are also on the cards, whereas free education for the differently-abled students, scholarship, 5 per cent in seats and 4 per cent reservation in jobs is already available to them, he added. This year, a record seven disabled HPU students including five visually impaired made the state proud by qualifying the UGC NET, he added.

"Muskan, a young singer, especially made us proud as the Election Commission of India declared her brand ambassador for the last vidhan sabha elections and presently she is performing in the United States. Now, another visually impaired student Shweta Sharma is following Muskan's footprints in the field of singing," the VC said.

He said efforts are on to establish a Centre for Disability and Rehabilitation Studies and one State Disability Resource Centre in the university. HOD Ophthalmology Dr Ram Lal Sharma spoke on the causes of blindness, treatment and cornea transplant.

Several small documentaries on the success of the disabled were also screened and Ajay Kumar, a visually impaired student, made a demo of work on computer through the talking software. Shweta, another visually impaired student, did anchoring and Mohit Kapur read vote of thanks in Braille.

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