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Nobody spoke about us, complain visually-impaired students

Apart from the North-Eastern students in poll-bound Jawaharlal Nehru University, another section of JNU students feels let down by the students’ organisations due to neglect of issues and problems affecting them. This section is of 80-something visually-impaired students in the varsity.

After hearing the speeches of all the presidential candidates in the first session of the JNU presidential debate, around 10 visually impaired students, who were sitting in the section reserved for media, started raising slogans against all the presidential candidates.

“We listened to all candidates and none of them spoke about the differently-abled students of the campus. All of them talked about the rights of the Schedule Castes, Schedule Tribes, minorities and others but not about us. The question is what about our rights,” asked Yogesh, a member of JNU’s vision forum. “It is ironic that in one of the prestigious Universities of the country no one speaking for us. Even the administration is not bothered about us. This is not the only time that we have been neglected in the election process. This happens every year. Since this year’s election was touted as ‘elections for alternative politics’ by the students’ organisations, we expected that we would figure in the agendas of the presidential candidates. However, none spoke about us,” added Yogesh.

Yogesh and his friends also complained that they were not allowed to question the presidential candidates on the spot. “No one spoke about us. And on top of this, we were not allowed to ask questions to the candidates,” said Santosh Singh, an M Phil student.

“The time slot set for submitting questions from the audience was the first session of the debate. They (the visually-impaired students) came to the debate in the second session and asked us to allow them to ask questions to the candidates which we could not allow. Had they informed us earlier we could have made their questions reach the candidates,” said Ishita Mana, Chief Election Commissioner for JNUSU polls.
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