[AI] supreme court opens up medical studies for v i friends

raghuraman thinkdontblink at gmail.com
Thu Jun 3 11:16:04 EDT 2010

A recent judgment of the Supreme Court of India appears to have opened new opportunities for the visually impaired. A young student, Nitin Mantri, had dreamt of becoming a Doctor from his early years: not an uncommon dream among the youngsters. What made the dream of Nitin so special was the fact that he was visually impaired. Due to his visual impairment, there were strong chances of his denied admission to a Medical College. 


The inspiring stories of blind and low vision doctors are not absent from our memory. One immediately recalls the name of Late Salma Maqbool of Pakistan, who not only was a successful practicing doctor, but was an important leader in the blindness field. 


Despite knowing that the road may be difficult for him, Nitin persisted with his dream and tried to seek admission in a medical college.  He scored much higher percentage of marks than the cut off percentage, yet he was denied admission. He was admitted only after the High Court of Madhya Pradesh intervened. 


Social, administrative, and political prejudices cannot be easily set aside. His institution as well as the Government of his State appealed in the Supreme Court of India.  After 9 months of toil, Nitin obtained the judgment in his favour: "There are no rules to bar a visually impaired student from studying medicine", the Supreme Court ruled. 


The ruling is important not just for Nitin Mantrie but for the entire visual impairment sector. Its significance rests in two respects. Firstly, it has opened new avenues of study and employment for the visually impaired. The Supreme Court of India judgment can be cited as an example by individuals and blindness organizations in other countries to obtain similar facilities in their respective countries. The UNCRPD already advocates the principle of "Reasonable Accommodation". This principle can help us in opening up new opportunities in the areas of education and employment. 


Secondly, the case in reference brings an important message to all of us. That is that given the will and determination, the most difficult doors can also open. So finally it is clear: the cure to our problems lies only with us. 

taken from asian blind union june edition 


cheers raghu 



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