[AI] Fwd: BPA Demands 1% Reservation for Sightless Candidates in the Recruitment of Primary Teachers in West Bengal.

Himanshu Sahu sahu.himanshu2010 at gmail.com
Thu Jul 1 02:53:07 EDT 2010

Another pathetic and insensitive drama of West Bengal Government is
being challenged by Visually Impaired People...
---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Blind Persons' Association <bpaindia at gmail.com>
Date: Wed, 30 Jun 2010 21:38:11 +0530
Subject: BPA Demands 1% Reservation for Sightless Candidates in the
Recruitment of Primary Teachers in West Bengal.

Today Blind Persons' Association organised a rally at Salt Lake in
Kolkata protesting against denial of reservation in the recruitment
process of primary teachers by Shri Partha De, the Education Minister
of West Bengal. About a hundred sightless persons from various
districts including the remote Coochbihar marched from Karunamayee to
the Ministry's office at Bikash Bhawan shouting their demands. The
Minister did not meet the delegation in spite of prior intimation.

Shri Partha De, the Education Minister, recently said to the press
that there is no provision of reservation for totally sightless
persons in the posts of primary teachers. It is not clear how he came
to this absolutely unjustified and unfounded conclusion. Section 33(I)
of the Persons With Disability Act, 1995 states in unequivocal terms,
"Every appropriate Government shall appoint in every establishment
such percentage of vacancies not less than three per cent. For persons
or class of persons with disability of which one per cent each shall
be reserved for persons suffering from Blindness or low vision; ... "
The Union Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment recommends in one
of its notification the post of primary teacher as a suitable job for
both blind and low vision persons on the basis of a survey by an
expert committee. Visually handicapped candidates are allowed 1%
reservation in the posts of all teachers including primary teachers by
Kendriya Vidyalaya Sangathan. There are instances of visually
handicapped teachers serving in primary schools in West Bengal.

The Education Ministry of the state ignored the legal provision right
from the very beginning. The initial advertisement published in the
Anandabazar Patrika, dated  August 30, 2009 did not mention anything
as regards reservation of 1% posts for visually handicapped persons.
The Association wrote to West Bengal Board of Primary Education  in
October, 2009 demanding reservation of posts as per law. As a result
visually handicapped candidates were allowed to appear at the
examinations held for recruitment of primary teachers in some
districts. Many visually handicapped candidates passed these

In consequence of the Ministry's ignoring this legal provision, many
district Boards of Primary Education have refused appointment to 100%
visually handicapped candidates in spite of their fulfilling requisite
qualification. Nadia District Board of Primary Education has gone an
extra step forward. They refused to issue admit cards to any visually
handicapped candidate in defiance of all rules and conventions. When
the worried candidates went BarnaParichay Bhawan at Krishnanagar to
ask for their bona fide admit cards on June 24, 2010, the last date of
issuing admit cards, Shri Manik Maitra, the Chairman, drove them out
of the office with the help of police.

Neither the Board officials nor the police (both instruments of a
democratic government) spared the helpless visually handicapped
examinees. Some of them were women. The police used abusive and
insulting words. They manhandled them so roughly that some of them
fell on the road. Their only crime was that they asked for admit

It is evident from the Minister's comments in the aforesaid news that
he came to learn of the entire incident. Yet he did not take any
measure to make arrangements for issuing admit cards to the visually
handicapped candidates. The examination for recruiting primary
teachers for Nadia was held as per schedule on 27.06.2010 without the
hapless visually handicapped examinees.

The rally demanded that Shri Partha De, the Education Minister, must
withdraw his statement (published in the Anandabazar Patrika of June
25, 2010) that "there is no provision of reservation for totally
sightless persons in the posts of primary teachers". A copy of the
Minister's statement was burned during the demonstration as a form of
protest. They demanded 1% reservation of posts for visually
handicapped applicants in the recruitment of primary teachers. Shri
Buddhadev Sikdar, General Secretary of Blind Persons' Association, in
his address to the gathering announced that they would launch a
protest movement to achieve their rights.

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Blind Persons' Association
10/2, Samsul Huda Road,
Kolkata - 700017

Tel. : (033) 22903379, 24377206
Email : bpaindia at gmail.com bpaindia at vsnl.com
Web : www.bpa.org.in

Thanks and regards
                   Himanshu Sahu
Reach: 09051055000

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