CHENNAI: The HC has suggested to the government to include lessons on ‘disabilities’ and rights of the disabled, as also the value of tolerance, empathy and respect for them in the school curriculum from the next academic year.
The first bench of Chief Justice Indira Banerjee and Justice M Sundar gave the suggestion when a PIL petition from L Muruganandam of Tirupur district came up for hearing.
The government shall ensure that the differently-abled have equal access to education. Admission in an educational institution shall be ensured in respect of the differently-abled, not only in special educational institutions, but also in general schools so that differently-abled kids can mingle with and be brought up along with the normal students”, the bench said.
The government shall immediately, in consultation with the Chief Commissioner or the State Commissioner and in collaboration with the TN State Legal Services Authority and District Legal Services Authority there under, conduct awareness campaigns and sensitisation programmes for protection of the rights of persons with disabilities. Programmes and campaigns shall, inter alia, be conducted to promote tolerance, empathy and respect for the differently abled, advance recognition of the skills, merits and abilities of persons with disabilities and of their contributions in all fields including the professional field, and foster respect for the decisions made by persons with disabilities on all matters relating to family, life, relationship, bearing and raising children, the bench added.
The bench also said that they shall also regularly conduct orientation and sensitisation programme at schools, colleges and other professional institutions on disability and the rights.
Posting further hearing to December 4, the bench said status report be filed with regard to the steps taken for implementation of the orders.
Muruganandam sought a direction to the Union and state governments to make all buildings and campuses disabled-friendly and make all facilities in all educational institutions in the state completely accessible to the differently abled persons.