New Delhi, Dec 4 (IANS) Yashaswi Kumud, 13, a Class eight student from a village in Bhopal feels agonised as others watch her crawl up the stairs, grabbing on to walls for support every time she visits the unclean toilets in her school. The ordeal often is the reason for her skipping school.
Kumud is not alone in this. About 150 disabled children across the country Tuesday voiced their demands in 'Our Voice - National Assembly of Children with Disabilities' programme organised here by NGO World Vision.
These children said that in many schools they have no access to basic needs like special toilets, ramps or teachers who could understand or attend to their needs.
"All the public infrastructure facilities should be accessible to children with disabilities in schools, public transport like bus and in health care," Jyoti, state secretary, Andhra Pradesh, Our Voice programme said.
Jyoti demanded at least an eight percent reservation for people with disability in government and private sector jobs.
The children said many schools do not take measures like providing classrooms on the ground floor. Special educators have not been hired and staff and the students have not been sensitised about the special needs of disabled people.
Participating in the conference, Congress leader Oscar Fernandes said the government was committed to the welfare of the disabled.
"I have asked them to submit their demands to parliament's petitions committee. Their demands are very simple and the government will definitely help the disabled community. We have a great task to perform," Fernandes said.
According to a Unicef report, there are around three crore children in India suffering from some form of disability.