‘Sat Out DU’s OBE Because No Means for Visually Impaired Students’

We have continuously sought help and assistance but to no avail.

My Report
2 min read

Video Editor: Rahil Sanpui
Video Producer: Aastha Gulati

As a third-year undergraduate student at Delhi University, the final examinations carry a lot of weight for my higher studies and future career prospects. The open book examinations that began on 10 August had a lot of technical errors and glitches that made students’ experience a troublesome one. However, many visually impaired students like me were not even able to appear for these exams due to several reasons.

Firstly, I have no scribe here with me in my hometown of Korba, Chhattisgarh. In this time, during the COVID-19 pandemic, no one is willing to come to my house by risking their life, and mine, to write the exam.

The common service centres that were directed to provide scribes for visually impaired students have refused and denied any responsibility for the same.

Even if I get a scribe, I don’t have any prescribed reading materials in an accessible format and I also don’t have any assistive technology. Without accessible reading material, I cannot prepare for my exam or refer to them for the open book examinations. In fact, 50-60 percent visually impaired students are not taking the exam due to these exclusive guidelines.

This is also reflected in the data from the mock test, that suggests that only 15-20 percent of visually-impaired students who tried to sit for the exam succeeded in uploading their final answer script.

This is a very disappointing and sorry state of affairs for visually impaired students. There is a proposal for an offline exam to be held by the end of September, but no one is sure when the exam will take place and under what conditions.

Speaking about myself specifically, I recently got admission at TISS and they have demanded my degree certificate by 30 September. I am not sure if my exams will be conducted by then.

Requests Fall on Deaf Ears

It is not like we haven’t raised our voices. We have been mailing the concerned authorities in the University of Delhi, be it the Dean of Examination, our college principal, or the in-charge of the Equal Opportunity Cell.

We have continuously sought help and assistance from them but to no avail.

Because of this, I, along with 15-16 visually impaired students, have moved the Supreme Court to challenge the guidelines for visually impaired students, terming them discriminatory and non-inclusive. We strongly hope that we get due justice and relief from the honourable Supreme Court.

(All 'My Report' branded stories are submitted by citizen journalists to The Quint. Though The Quint inquires into the claims/allegations from all parties before publishing, the report and the views expressed above are the citizen journalist's own. The Quint neither endorses, nor is responsible for the same.)

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