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Visually-impaired protest against govt disregarding GR on writers

The candidates who appeared for the Sunday exam said the writers were unable to help them out and many of them could not even write properly.

Written by Nisha Nambiar | Pune |
November 30, 2015 1:26:12 am

In the wake of the Maharashtra government contemplating allowing adult writers for differently abled children as well as setting up a writers’ bureau for qualified writers, a group of activists working for the visually impaired are peeved that the government is not following the resolution for “writers” for adults appearing for state government jobs.

The government resolution (GR) issued on March 28 last year states that “writers” for those appearing for state government jobs should be introduced to the candidate a day before and the candidate has to agree to said writer, however, the state government has not been following the GR.

This was pointed out by a group of activists working for the visually impaired in the city Sunday, when 19 visually impaired candidates who appeared for an examination for the post of peon in the Pune Zilla Parishad were provided writers from the fourth class from the local residential school for tribal children. “Even though there is a GR mentioning all the rules, one of which is that the candidate should be introduced to the writer a day earlier, it is only on paper. There is a clear violation to the disadvantage of the candidate,” said activist Ramchandra Rangolle, who’s two friends appeared for the exam.

He said while the Persons with Disabilities Act 1995 mentions a three per cent recruitment in state and central government offices, acts such as these only hamper the efforts. The candidates who appeared for the Sunday exam said the writers were unable to help them out and many of them could not even write properly.

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“The writer has to be chosen to suit to the exam. They cannot give us small kids to help us,” said a candidate under condition of anonymity. The Zilla Parishad official however said that it was practically impossible to have the candidates introduced a day in advance as they were busy arranging exams for vacancies for various posts. “We knew the requirement and we provided for it at the time of examination. For the Sunday exam, the minimum qualification was class four and so we have students from class four to help the candidates,” explained the official.

There were over 16,000 candidates appearing for 40 posts at the Zilla Parishad Sunday. There were 35 centres in the city for the exam. Recently, due to the hue and cry over “writers” for the differently abled, the government was contemplating adult writers as there are a lot of issues faced by the visually impaired. Rangolle points out that for state government exams, they cannot give school children as writers even if the minimum pass requirement is class four. “My friend could hardly explain to the writer and they could not understand and write well,” he says.

While a writers’ bureau too has been recommended, the government is also contemplating prompters for practical exams for schools. “While government is focusing on school exams, the same needs to be done for state government exams,” said a candidate. The amended act issued last year clearly mentions the rules for writers for such examinations. Activists feel that if the government is providing writers for such examinations, which means the local bodies, they should give adults for these and not children.

Of the 40 posts for peons, activists are hoping that they should get some of the candidates selected for the posts but with such “writers” they feel they stand less hope as they are not sure the writers were able to mark the answers correctly. Even though the exam had objective questions with four options, it is doubtful whether they were able to do the needful, they said.

What the rules say:

* The local body or the candidate can get the writer of his/her choice

* The candidate has to make a mention whether he/she needs a writer

* State government should select the writer according to the needs of the exam according to the panel decided

* The panel should decide the writers according to the area or field

* The candidate should be able to meet the writer one day in advance to discuss

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