Disabled youth want facilities, sensitive society
New Delhi, Feb 8 : Better infrastructure facilities and sensitivity towards the physically disabled were some of the demands made by disabled youths at a conference here Friday.
"My college does not have a lift, forcing me and many others like me to depend on others," lamented visually impaired Neha Sinha, a student of Delhi School of Economics, University of Delhi.
"The reading material too is not adequate," she added.
Sinha is part of a disabled students' group from across the country participating in the two-day 'National Convention for Youth with Disabilities' which began here Thursday. The National Centre for Promotion of Employment for Disabled People organised the conference.
Sharmishta Atreja, another student, feels that people should be more sensitive and supportive while dealing with people with disabilities.
"What saddens me is that even some of our teachers consider us dumb just because we are blind," said the visually impaired student pursuing her Masters in Philosophy from St. Stephen's College of Delhi University.
Although a new disability rights law and the creation of a new department of disability affairs are in the offing, the students said things have not changed much at the ground level.
"Youngsters should be taught how to deal with disabled people and this should be included in the high school curriculum. When students learn computers they should also be taught what is braille," Atreja added.
Akshay Sharma, a 10th standard student, said: "I am unable to go to movies, market or enjoy an outing with friends because of lack of proper infrastructure for us (disabled)."
"I want to live freely on my own terms," added Sharma, who has cerebral palsy and moves around in a wheelchair.