George Abraham george at eyeway.org
Mon Jun 28 07:20:26 EDT 2010

it seems like Times of India, Bangalore.
----- Original Message ----- 
From: "pradeep banakar" <pradeepsocialwork at gmail.com>
To: <accessindia at accessindia.org.in>
Sent: Monday, June 28, 2010 4:18 PM
Subject: [AI] Dr Rajalakshmi BATTLE FOR RESERVATION

Dear friends, I got this article from my friend, hence I am not able
to give you any source for this.

BANGALORE: Trained in classical and Western dance, and an aspiring
model, this Oxford Dental College graduate's dreams of higher studies
were almost dashed after she met with an accident that left her
completely immobile. But her grit, and more so her mother's spirit,
changed her life and that of many others for the better.

S J Rajalakshmi's is an inspiring story. She was travelling to Chennai
to present a paper at a national conference when she met with a road
accident, resulting in permanent loss of mobility in both her lower

She completed her graduation and internship in a wheelchair, and also
topped her college in orthodontics and community dentistry. Barely a
month out of a major surgery in 2009, she wrote her P-G entrance exam
and passed with a good score.


Though the government of India had reserved 3% seats for persons with
disability, the Rajiv Gandhi University of Health Sciences had
reserved only one seat for a physically challenged candidate in 2009.

Since the university was supposed to reserve 3% seats, Dr Rajalakshmi
approached the then state commissioner for disabilities Das
Suryawanshi, who issued a order to reserve 3% seats. Surprisingly, the
university ignored this order. Not one to give up, Rajalakshmi's
mother Dr Shobha Murthy filed a writ petition in the high court. After
a year-long battle, the court issued a historic order, making 3%
reservation mandatory for disabled students in government and private
educational institutions.

Her battle enabled 24 disabled students to pursue their dreams in
medical and dental PG courses this year.


"When I suddenly became disabled, my life completely changed. It was
shocking for us to know that an Act enacted 15 years ago was not
implemented, and people with disability were denied their rights all
these years. My mother was struggling to get justice for me and I was
worried about her health. On several occasions, I wanted her to give
up, but she was confident and fought till I and many like me got
justice. I thank my mother and brothers for being my pillars of
strength," Rajalakshmi told TOI.

"All her life, my daughter has been a meritorious student and when I
knew she rightly deserved the seat, I had to fight for her rights. I
have argued my daughter's case alone in court. But I am happy the
struggle benefited the entire disabled student community. From the
current year, it is mandatory that all educational institutions
reserve 3% seats as per the PWD Act," said mother Shobha Murthy.

"The government turns the disabled into beggars by only distributing
wheelchairs and clutches. They should empower them by efficiently
implementing the PWD Act," she added.

Since the state government had failed to implement the Act, Dr
Rajalakshmi lost one year. But not really — the plucky girl did a
course in fashion designing and pursued her Masters in Psychology
through distance education.

Dr. Victor John Cordeiro
Chair-RED India
#57, 1st Floor, 3rd Main Adithya Nagar, 8th Phase JP Nagar,
Bangalore-62, Karnataka, India.
Ph.  +918026323496 , M.  +919448071644
Email. chair.redindia at gmail.com

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