A physically challenged teacher has written to the Ministry for Human Resource and Development (MHRD), alleging that the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) submitted incorrect information to the National Institutional Ranking Framework (NIRF) on accessibility for the disabled at the institute.
Satendra Singh, a teacher at University College of Medical Sciences (UCMS), said he has been fighting cases to make library and toilet facilities accessible in AIIMS. The premier hospital has been ranked the number 1 medical institution in the country.
In its reply to NIRF’s parameter details, AIIMS had said it has ramps/lifts in all their buildings; specially designed toilets for handicapped in all buildings and provision for walking aids; and wheelchairs in all buildings. The institution has scored a full 20 points for the same.
In 2013, Singh had filed a case against the institute with the court of the Chief Commissioner for Persons with Disabilities. The court had directed the Medical Council of India (MCI) to issue orders to medical institutions to make their buildings accessible.
“AIIMS then formed a committee, but that has remained only on paper. When I went to AIIMS in 2016, I found many places were still inaccessible. How can they submit such false information?” Singh said.
Responding to the claims, AIIMS director Randeep Guleria said, “All hospital areas are accessible. We are working with IIT-Roorkee to make the whole hospital, including labs and new blocks, accessible.”
According to Singh, the BB Dikshit Library, CMET, and auditorium are inaccessible. “The famed BB Dikshit Library of AIIMS only has stairs and no lift/ramp. The boardroom does not have accessible toilets… Last year, AIIMS admitted lack of accessibility in media reports as well. I had to fight for six years to make my own college accessible and a lift has finally inaugurated this February,” Singh said.