A group of students with disabilities from Edinburgh and Kings College London have met the Indian President, Pranab Mukherjee.
The group of 11 students and 4 staff from Edinburgh travelled to Delhi to share knowledge and experiences on disability as part of an innovative collaboration between Edinburgh, King’s College London, the University of Delhi and the British Council.
The group, which included students with dyslexia, cerebral palsy, and hearing impairments spent 10 days in Delhi and attended a course on ‘Disability and Inclusion: Perceptions and issues in Contemporary India’, organised by the India University Grant’s Commission programme ‘Connect to India’.
I was happy to meet students and faculty members from King’s College, London and the University of Edinburgh, Scotland. India and the United Kingdom share a long tradition and history as well as a multifaceted relationship. I appreciate the efforts of the UGC and Delhi University to organise the ten day short term course under the Connect to India programme. We realise the significance of an inclusive society for all and are working towards equity and equality in all spheres.
During the visit the group shared experiences with a similar group of Delhi University students with disabilities and specific learning difficulties.
The trip formed part of Edinburgh’s ongoing commitment to strengthen and deepen ties with India through the exchange of information and ideas.
The group had the opportunity to learn about assistive technologies used to support students in India and about the political impact of changes to disability support. Through visits to both inclusive and specialist schools in Delhi, they learnt from models of best-practice in education. They also visited NGOs working in the field of disability and enjoyed excursions to key cultural sites.
The India Office, together with the International Office worked with the University of Delhi on the Connect to India programme, which embraced the concept of Disability and Inclusion: Perceptions & Issues in Contemporary India. This experience has been very insightful for the University of Edinburgh delegation. They developed an understanding of the policies and programmes around disability at the University of Delhi and the Government of India. The connections made during the programme changed the way most students perceive their own disability; which will have a far-reaching impact on an individual and institutional level.