[AI] AHMEDABAD: Zero sympathy for 100% blind

avinash shahi shahi88avinash at gmail.com
Mon Jul 13 23:29:21 PDT 2015

When yesterday's news was shared widely and discussed at length on
social media: The Times of India has done more coverage today
interviewing more concerned people. Its high time we share such news
items widely on social media so that newspaper gets to track yes there
are huge readership among us. And then such issues will be followed
seriously by the papers. And yes this is not hidden truth that totally
blind people are gonna face the music everywhere in the days to



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AHMEDABAD: Such was the apathy of the state government towards the
visually impaired that, when the high court ruled in favour of 11
blind candidates, asking the education department to provide jobs to
them in November 2012, in February 2013, the government brought out a
notification restricting the appointment. The division bench of
justice Jayant Patel and justice Z K Saiyed on June 12, 2013 had taken
a serious note of this notification.

 The government notification signed by the principal secretary
education Sangeeta Singh stated that "a person having low vision can
be considered to the extent of 1.5% reservation, provided the vision
is more than 40% but less than 75%. However, so far as 100% blindness
is concerned, the eligibility is only as a music teacher and not for
other posts." The petitioner, Kaushik Akbari says, "The fact was that
the government deemed us blind teachers unfit for the post of language
teacher and the post of Vidhya Sahayak. This was negated by the
division bench."

 The division bench judges ruled, "It is hardly required to be stated
that once the judgment is delivered by the learned Single Judge of
this Court on November 1, 2012, a government notification dated
February 12, 2013 cannot nullify the effect of the judgment.
Therefore, such ground would not be available to the government for
non-compliance of the order of the learned Single Judge."

 Ravi Segliya, another 100% blind petitioner in the case, says, "The
government colleges allow blind candidates to do BEd, MEd in languages
and subjects but show no commitment to employ them. This is denying an
opportunity. Gujarat is the only state that does this."

 Arun Oza, senior lawyer, who is also representing a few of the blind
candidates fighting against the 2013 government notification, says,
"There are a number of high court decisions in the recent past,
directing the government to ensure appointment of the blind candidates
in the past few years. Rajesh Mulwani versus the state government is
an apt example."

Avinash Shahi
Doctoral student at Centre for Law and Governance JNU

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