Notice issued to DPS Srinagar a year after student was left disabled by school bus accident

Notice issued to DPS Srinagar a year after student was left disabled by school bus accident

Srinagar: The Court of Chief Commissioner for Persons with Disabilities (CCPD) has issued notice to police and the management of Delhi Public School, Athwajan, seeking a report on action taken in the case of a special needs student who was severely injured after the school’s bus hit him inside the school premises, allegedly due to negligence of his class teacher.
As per the notice, the Commissioner has taken strong note of the matter following a complaint and has asked the school as well as police authorities for an action taken report in 15 days.
The 11-year-old (name withheld), who was born with low vision, has been left bedridden for the last one year after he was disabled in an accident inside his school premises.
A student of Delhi Public School, Athwajan Srinagar, he was walking inside the school premises when he was hit by the school bus, reads a complaint filed by his parents before the CCPD.
The child’s parents allege that the school and the class teacher are responsible for his condition as he was left unattended despite his visual impairment.
”His class teacher told him to go by himself to collect a book. While crossing a small lane within the school compound, he was hit by the school bus and left physically disabled,” alleged his father Dr Zaffar-ul-Rehman, who is a dentist.
“His teacher told him to walk on ahead even though she knew he couldn’t see clearly”, he said. “He is not able to move independently now as the accident has caused nerve damage in his right leg.”
His parents said they had borne considerable medical expenses in getting him treated in hospitals in Mumbai and Chennai and want the school to take some financial responsibility.
“My son had a visual disability but now he has become a wheelchair user, and this is due to the teacher’s negligence”, Dr Zaffar said. “We only want justice so that we can secure our child’s future”.
The student’s parents told Kashmir Reader that appeals to the police and school authorities have gone unheard. They finally turned to the Disability Welfare Trust, a Srinagar-based NGO, which promised to take up the issue.
Following the NGO’s intervention, the Chief Commissioner for Persons with Disabilities has taken note of the matter and sought a response from school authorities in 15 days. In separate communications to police and school authorities, it has asked for details of the action taken.
Under the Rights of Persons with Disabilities Act 2016, children with disabilities are entitled certain protections, especially after the removal of Article 370, when central laws have become applicable to Jammu and Kashmir. Inclusive education is an important component of the Act.
It’s not just the school his parents are upset with. Even the local police, they allege, delayed filing an FIR in the matter. Instead, the parents were urged to sort the matter out privately with the school.
Chairman DPS Athwajan, Vijay Dhar, refuted the allegations by parents of the student about negligence by the school.
He said the family has not sent them any appeal or demand about compensation, so far.
“We have spoken to the parents many times but they never demanded any compensation from us. We have still put their child on a scholarship since the day we came to know about the accident,” Dhar told Kashmir Reader.
He also expressed ignorance about the letter sent by the Court of Chief Commissioner for Persons with Disabilities.
“We haven’t received any letter so far, probably because the school is closed due to the coronavirus pandemic. If we receive it, we will reply accordingly,” he said.

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