The Bombay High Court on Monday directed authorities to grant provisional admission to a visually-impaired girl to study physiotherapy. The court also asked the state to make a beginning somewhere,sometime with respect to the problems of physically-challenged persons.
Kritika Purohit,17,and the Indian association of visually-impaired physiotherapists had moved a petition in the high court earlier this month after Purohit was barred from taking the Maharashtra CET because of her disability. A division bench of Chief Justice Mohit Shah and Justice S C Dharmadhikari said disabled people want to compete and the state should change its mindset and give disabled persons a chance. Directing the authorities to grant Purohit provisional admission to KEM-run Seth G S Medical College,and the chance to attend classes,the court said,This mindset has to change. You must feel from within.
The judges cited examples of visually-impaired persons from the legal fraternity and spoke of an advocate general and a Supreme Court judge in South Africa who were visually-impaired. Even we (the judiciary) had these problems and we have overcome it, the judges said.
Additional government pleader G W Mattos said the Chief Commissioner of Disabilities of the central government will take up the matter with the authorities and colleges concerned. Purohits lawyer Kanchan Pamnani (who is also visually impaired) said it is difficult for her (Purohit) to do the course but not impossible.
Pamnani submitted that in India there are five practising doctors who are visually-challenged and also cited the example of the Blind Persons Association in Ahmedabad practicing Physiotherapy.
According to a document submitted by the state to the court,Purohit was refused admission on grounds that the course required handling of certain electrical devices that might pose a problem for the student. Pamnani said it wont be a problem as they themselves will get the materials required for the course which the student can handle better.
Nothing is going to workout unless you make a beginning somewhere sometime, said Chief Justice Shah.
The court said that as a start the authorities can take Purohit as a test case. The court directed the CCD to consider the entire matter in proper perspective and issue directions to universities within two months to ensure that visually-impaired students dont have to run to court every time they face a problem.