A 15-year-old wheelchair-bound student from Naigaon in Dadar, Mumbai has been at the receiving end of the school’s apathy towards getting him an accessible centre for the ongoing Class 10 board exams. Omkar Samla, a student of Bengali Education Society’s High School in Dadar is currently being carried by his family members to the exam hall on the second floor of his exam centre after his school did not pay heed to several requests by the parents.
Samla, who has a spinal cord defect since birth, has 90 per cent impairment. His parents had requested the school to ensure that he is allotted a centre near their house in Naigaon with ground floor seating arrangement. A few days before the exam they got to know that Samla has been allotted a seat on the third floor at Navbharat school, which is about 15 minutes from his residence. Ever since, his mother Jayashree has been running from pillar to post to get the centre changed but nothing seems to have helped. “My son is wheelchair-bound and we had asked the school to provide a centre on the ground floor. The school authorities kept on assuring us that they would put in a request to the Board but ultimately he was allotted a classroom on the third floor. The centre is also quite far from the house and we have to take him in a cab. The school should have taken the request seriously and requested the Board to change his centre,” said Samla’s mother, Jayashree.
On March 11, after a few local politicians intervened, the school allotted a seat to him on the second floor which according to the family is of no use. “School officials told us that since there are no classes on the ground and second floor of the school building, all they can do is allot a seat on the second floor,” said Jayashree.