Vanithi was born with no fingers on her left hand but that has never scuttled her quest for excellence. She always wanted to be a doctor and has the required marks to get a medical seat under the disability quota.But authorities have rejected her application as rules bar those with disabled upper arm from admission to medical courses while those with disabled lower limbs can be admitted.
“The upper limb disabled students also have the ability to examine patients and treat them. So they should examine each student and then take a decision,” says Vanithi.
The Persons with Disability Act promises equal opportunities for the physically challenged. The Tamil Nadu government says it is helpless as the Medical Council of India still follows archaic admission guidelines.
“According to present government norms, students seeking medical admission should have normal hands as otherwise they can’t examine patients well. Otherwise we have to change the rules,” says Dr Vijay, Tamil Nadu Health minister.
Vanithi’s father, a junior engineer with the state agriculture department has moved Madras High Court.
“Even if my daughter doesn’t benefit, it should help other disabled children like her in future,” says S Muniappan, Vanithi’s father.
The court has directed the Tamil Nadu government to reserve a seat for Vanithi till the case is settled. It has also sought a response from the Medical Council of India.