New Delhi, Jan 25 : The Delhi High Court has issued a set of directions to the Delhi government and the Directorate of Education (DoE) to ensure the effective functioning and maintenance of seven special schools and hostels in the national capital for visually impaired children.
The directions came in response to a plea by the National Federation of the Blind in 2018, addressing concerns about facilities for blind children in hostels.
A division bench of the court directed the DoE to be responsible for providing timely and quality food, uniform, clothes, and recreational facilities for all students in the special schools.
According to the court, the DoE should operate and maintain these seven schools as per the mandate of Section 31 of the Right of Persons with Disabilities Act, 2016.
“DoE, GNCTD shall continue to operate and maintain these seven (7) Schools as Special Schools as per the mandate of Section 31 of the Right of Persons with Disabilities Act, (RPWD) 2016,” it said.
The court further asked the DoE to deploy a Superintendent for each hostel, regular cooks, sanitation staff, caretakers, and security guards within eight weeks to ensure uninterrupted facilities.
Additionally, the timely availability of Braille books, assistive devices, and other reading materials for students in special schools was told.
The DoE was directed to maintain and enhance existing facilities at the schools and hostels, making them a model for the country.
The living conditions of students in hostels should be upgraded and maintained to avoid lapses reported by Court Commissioners.
The DoE was also tasked with assessing proposed steps for hostels and making necessary budgetary allocations by February 28 for the financial year 2024-25. The court took note of the steps taken by the Delhi government to comply with its responsibilities under Section 31 of the RPWD Act. It expressed confidence that prioritising compliance with the given directions would make the special schools and hostel facilities a model for other states to follow.