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Encouraging facilities for the different and abled

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With more than 1,500 seats on offer, Delhi University and its affiliated colleges are doing all they can to encourage physically challenged students to enroll. Many DU colleges, including Khalsa, Miranda House, Sri Ram College of Commerce, Hindu, Gargi, Kamla Nehru, Janki Devi Memorial college and Lady Sri Ram College are ready to welcome their special students with lifts, ramps, specially designed toilets and libraries equipped with resources. In 2008, DU was able to fill a mere 386 of its 1,500 seats. At Miranda House, there is a special section in the library containing Braille books and talking computers, which serve as a resource centre for visually challenged students. The railings at Kamla Nehru College are being painted red for the benefit of the partially blind.

The university also has in place a central Braille library with screen readers, magnifiers and special softwares that assist the visually impaired students. But there is still scope for improvement. Delhi University's Equal Opportunity Cell (EOC) has been working on programmes to make the university experience truly enriching for physically challenged students. But hostel facility, that tops the priority of the disabled, is not available in most colleges. While physically challenged can get admission on the basis of reservation, special facilities like toilets or ground floor room are mostly not available. But more and more colleges are becoming sensitive to the needs of the disabled. 'We have tried to make the application process more comfortable and hope to fill as many seats as possible,' said Seema M Parihar, Deputy Dean (Students Welfare).

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