Teaching dreams lure disabled to Delhi University


New Delhi : Many youngsters may be confused about a career even as they apply for admission to Delhi University, but most physically challenged students know exactly what they want to do – they want to be teachers, say counsellors.

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“I want to pursue B Com (Hons) and go for B Ed later. I have always wanted to become a teacher. I think there is nothing greater than spreading knowledge,” Ashish Jain, a Delhi University aspirant, said.

Jain, who suffers from a limp in the right leg, scored 65 percent in his Class 12 examinations. “While teaching is a noble profession, it is also a little relaxing for a specially abled person like me,” he added.

So far nearly 250 physically challenged students have applied for admission to various colleges of Delhi University.

Radhika Handa, a counsellor with the Delhi University help desk for physically challenged people, said: “Most physically challenged students aspiring for admission in DU want to take up teaching as a profession later in life. Not just students but even their parents are encouraging them to go for it.”

For Lal Munni, the resident of a slum cluster who has applied at the varsity, becoming a teacher guarantees a good salary along with a respectable job.

“I have applied for the BA programme and my preference is Shyama Prasad Mukherjee College. I want to become a teacher because then I would be able to earn well and work in a respectable environment,” said Munni, who has a problem in her legs.

A common concern of disabled students is the accessibility of the colleges from their residence.

“While choosing the college for admission, they are mostly concerned with facilities like a ramp and distance of travel involved,” said Ashu Sharma, a Delhi University student who is also a counsellor at the help desk.

Ritu Mehra (name changed), who scored 70 percent in her Class 12 exams, said: “I want to do my graduation in B Com from Sri Ram College of Commerce. I want to become a chartered accountant. Teaching is not a bad option either.”

Archana Kadambari, another counsellor, said: “Some physically challenged students are very confused as to what course to take up and it’s our job to help them. Most of them want to become teachers; so we help them in figuring out the best course.”

The university has started an ‘Equal Opportunity Cell’ (EOC) for students with disabilities for providing them facilities such as a computerized study centre, Braille book and talking books.