Punjabi University announces centre for disability studies

Visually impaired Kiran Kumari to function as coordinator

Punjabi University announces centre for disability studies

Assistant Professor Kiran

Ravneet Singh

Tribune News Service

Patiala, December 6

A visually disabled assistant professor at Punjabi University will function as coordinator of its newly established Centre for Disability Studies here. The announcement was made during a district-level programme on December 3, the World Disability Day.

Punjabi University said the basic aim of the centre was to cater to the specific educational needs of persons with disabilities, visual impairment, physical disability, hearing impairment and others.

They said, “The centre will generate information regarding issues of disability and work as an advisory body for policy making in the regard. It will also establish a braille and audio library.”

Kiran Kumari, a visually impaired, has been working on the campus at the department of sociology and social anthropology since 2011, will function as its coordinator. The centre was her idea which she presented to the university over two years ago.

Kiran was made a state icon for people with disabilities voters in 2019 by the Election Commission of India (ECI). She also received a role model award for empowerment of persons with disability from President Ram Nath Kovind on the occasion of International Day of Disabled Persons in December 2018. Currently she is also a member of the state advisory board on disability.

Talking to The Tribune she said the centre would run master level diploma courses and certificate courses. “Most importantly, the courses will empower disabled persons with desired skills to live independently. Visually impaired individuals face problems in accessing books and resources for higher education. Similarly, problems persist for hearing disabled and the centre will develop interpreters (human resources) for them. This will ease out their gap in accessing higher education,” she said.

The university said the centre would be established with an expenditure of Rs 55.60 lakh to be spent by the Department of Social Security, Women and Child Development, Punjab.

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