Guwahati: The right to education is universal and must extend to all children, youth and adults, including people with disabilities, asserted Shampa Sengupta, an activist who has been striving for the issues related to disability rights.
Delivering a talk on disability rights in education on Saturday, Sengupta highlighted the appalling situation when it came to education facilities for children with disabilities.
In Assam especially, she said more than half of school dropouts were disabled students and many of them were discriminated against.
"On the one hand is the Sarva Shiksha Mission along with few private schools trying to admit some disabled children, and on the other we have schemes like Higher Education for Persons with Special Needs (HEPSN) by the UGC for their higher education," she said.
"Yet we find few disabled people included in the education system...Not just the students but the staffs and teachers of educational institutions are denied their rights on a regular basis. Duties and responsibilities of inclusion is on all of us", Sengupta pointed out.
The leading educationists and social activists present on the occasion discussed the actual achievement of the laws and policies that talk about inclusion of the disabled within the educational setups.
Shampa Sengupta is associated with Sruti Disability Rights Centre and West Bengal`s Paschim Banga Rajya Pratibandhi Sammelani, an affiliate of National Platform for the Rights of Disabled.
The talk on the topic "Inclusion in Education: Reality Check" was organised by the not-for-profit philanthropic organisation Foundation for Social Transformation (FST) operating across the seven states of the North East region.