Thursday, October 28, 2010

Visually Impaired continue to face discrimination in Civil Services

Dear Friends,

Despite the PM's intervention in ensuring that the Civil Services opened their doors to the persons with disability especially those with visual disability, the silent discrimination continues. The case of Rajesh is a live testimony to this discrimination. And this is despite Supreme Court's order in the favour of the candidate directing DoPT to appoint him in Civil Services!

It is the same DOPT which continued to take examination in Braille  and giving the VH scribes to write UPSC examination without making an effort to identify any posts for them when they were pulled up by the Hon'ble Supreme Court of India.

We all know, how difficult it is to clear the interview where, many times such insensitive people sit across you who know nothing about disability etiquettes throwing queries questioning your abilities on the basis of perceived disability! And then the apathy and bias attitude of  the DoPT.

This needs to change forthwith if India is to ensure true equality to its citizen with disabilities. Stern action should be taken against the erring officers to set examples that the policies and Act are not defied right under the nose of the Union Government.

Read here the revelation brought out by Bhuvan Bagga for Mail Today.

Click here to view the news from Mail Today in image form 

Babus blind to his merit (Mail Today)

By Bhuvan Bagga in New Delhi

Visually impaired man not given posting even 3 yrs after clearing civil services 

RAJESH Kumar Singh had a dream that soured — one, because he is visually impaired and two, because he is not well connected. This 25- year- old had cracked the prestigious civil services examination three years ago while he was still doing his masters in modern Indian history from Jawaharlal Nehru University.

But what happened next broke his spirit. Despite bagging the third rank in the disabled category, the department of personnel and training ( DoPT) refused to give Singh a posting.

“I don’t know when I will get my chance. Now it seems the examination was easier to handle, but not this inherent bias in the system against people with special needs like us,” says Rajesh.

Disheartened, he approached the Supreme Court and after a prolonged legal battle, the court decided in his favour. But another shocker for him was on the way.

A candidate, who was ranked below him in the same category, received a posting while he was still waiting for a response after the court order. Allegedly, it so happened that the favoured candidate was related to a DoPT official.

He knocked at the Supreme Court’s doors for the second time on October 21 this year. The court once again issued notices to the government asking why he wasn’t given a posting despite its order and how a person with a lower rank got in.

“The system is entirely pitted against us. No one thinks we deserve, merit or should be a part of the bureaucracy. Even in my interview, a panelist asked me why I deserved to be in the service when I couldn’t even read or write as he did,” he said.

At that time Rajesh had politely shot back asking the interviewer “ if he could read or write like him, would he consider himself ineligible?” Incidentally, Rajesh is also an international cricketer who represented India in three world cups for the visually impaired. “ Two of these were in India and one in Pakistan. I am not just a meritorious candidate, but also a sportsperson,” he says.

However, he has received support from activists and political leaders who have written to the Prime Minister. MAIL TODAY has the copies of these letters in its possession. The letters name the senior DOPT officer and mention that Rajesh was ignored and a person with a lower rank was favoured.

Dr Naresh Kumar, a sociologist and general secretary of the Delhi Pradesh Congress Committee said, “ I have written a letter to the PM and asked for the removal of such officers who think themselves to be above the Supreme Court. I want to know how Ravi Prakash Singh, with a rank of 6, got into the IAS service while Rajesh is outside.” Rajesh is from Patna and had done his bachelors in history from Ramjas College. His father is a civil judge in Bihar. Two of his brothers are engineers and his sister is a doctor.

“There are times when even our families and closest persons can’t understand us. I have my fingers crossed and am hopeful that the law of the land gives me what I have earned. I don’t need sympathies, just give me what I worked so hard for,” Rajesh said.

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