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

amarnath de amarnath.delhi at hotmail.com
Thu Jul 1 11:37:29 EDT 2010

From: amarnath de 
Sent: Thursday, July 01, 2010 9:04 PM
To: say everything 
Cc: amarnath.delhi at hotmail.com 
Subject: Fw: BPA Demands 1% Reservation for Sightless Candidates in the Recruitment of Primary Teachers in West Bengal.

----- Original Message ----- 
From: Blind Persons' Association 
To: Undisclosed-Recipient:; 
Sent: Wednesday, June 30, 2010 9:26 PM
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 examinations.


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 cards.


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

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