[AI] Gujarat: State has blind spot for visually impaired

avinash shahi shahi88avinash at gmail.com
Sun Jul 12 22:11:16 PDT 2015

I've been long maintaining that the  Gujarat government is not
following the orders and to reiterate, this legacy is carried on from
then CM and now PM Narendra Modi. Read below a report published in
today's TOI detailing the ordeal of blind people in chronological

 AHMEDABAD: India's ace-blind cricketer Bhalaji Damor's apathetic
condition is just a reflection of how insensitive the Gujarat
bureaucracy is towards the visually impaired. Gujarat today is the
only state which restricts completely visually impaired from
government jobs via its own February 2013 government notification of
the education department.

Rajesh Mulwani, for instance, who is totally blind, is today the
principal of District Institute of Education and Training (DIET) in
Amreli district. Not because the government selected him under
reservation, but he had to fight against the government in the Gujarat
high court, which ruled in his favour in January 2013, and ensured
that Mulwani was "deemed fit" for the principal's post.

Mulwani's struggle also inspired 14 other completely visually impaired
students seeking primary teacher jobs last year to move the HC against
the government against the 2010 resolution. "There have been two HC
rulings against the government on the issue of not recruiting 100 per
cent blind teachers but the government still refuses to withdraw the
notification," says Mulwani. Ironically, there are more than 250
totally blind teachers, recruited in government primary schools of the

Bushan Punani, executive secretary of the Blind People's Association
(BPA) says, "The 2013 resolution is against section 32 of Persons with
Disabilities (Equal Opportunities, Protection of Rights and Full
Participation) Act, 1995. This notification in turn fixes criteria for
recruitment for visually impaired as people with more than 40% but
less than 75% vision for teachers job."

In another case Ravi Segliya, 32, was among 31 totally blind primary
school teachers who had to knock on the high court's door to figure in
the list of 23,500 primary school teachers recruited between July 5,
2010 and September 5, 2011. The PIL was filed by a blind candidate
Kaushik Akabari.

"The 2013 notification reserves just 1.5% jobs for people with low
vision and not completed blind candidates" says Segliya. He adds,
"After the high court ruled in our favour in 2011 we had to file a
contempt application in 2012 so that government acts on the court's
order ," says Segliya.

Avinash Shahi
Doctoral student at Centre for Law and Governance JNU

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