The Commissioner for Persons with Disabilities, Assam has summoned Kailash Chandra Lohia, chairman of Topcem Cement to appear before his court on March 23 in connection with a complaint on ‘deprivation of rights’ of persons with disabilities.
Pratibandhi Suraksha Sangsha, Assam, on March 15 had registered a complaint against Topcem Cement and Rotary Club of Guwahati Luit for denying rights to access toilets to people with disabilities in a government school in Guwahati.
Topcem Cement, as part of its CSR programme, had recently constructed a toilet block at Arya Vidyapeeth Higher Secondary & Multipurpose School in Guwahati.
The construction of the toilet block by Topcem Cement was under an initiative of the Rotary Club of Guwahati Luit. Unfortunately, it has no facility for students and teachers with disabilities.
Nripen Malakar, secretary of Pratibandhi Suraksha Sangsha, Assam, on Monday met Debeswar Bora, Commissioner for Persons with Disabilities, and registered the complaint against Topcem Cement and Rotary Club of Guwahati Luit.
In addition to Kailash Chandra Lohia, the Commissioner for Persons with Disabilities, Assam, has also summoned President of Rotary Club of Guwahati Luit, and the Principal of Arya Vidyapeeth Higher Secondary School to ‘personally appear’ before the court at 11.30 am on March 23.
Malakar had complained that the Topcem Cement management and members of Rotary Club of Guwahati Luit did not bother to show little respect to people with disabilities while constructing the toilet block.
As per the Rights of Persons with Disabilities Act, 2016, it is now mandatory to make toilets accessible to people with disabilities, Malakar said.
Despite repeated attempts, Topcem Cement chairman Kailash Chandra Lohia was not available for comments on the issue.
Earlier, Abhishek Chakraborty, assistant general manager of Topcem Cement had claimed that he was not aware of any complaint lodged by the Pratibandhi Suraksha Sangsha, Assam.
In addition to depriving rights of persons with disabilities, Topcem Cement is also being blamed for converting a classroom (Room No 12) in the middle of academic block in Arya Vidyapeeth Higher Secondary School into a toilet block.
It is surprising that the Topcem Cement management, constructed the toilet block inside the 40-year-old Assam-type classroom by erecting three separating walls, which were only six feet high.
It was also reported that neither the Topcem Cement management nor the members of Rotary Club of Guwahati Luit had informed the Assam Education Department while constructing the toilet facility in Arya Vidyapeeth Higher Secondary School.
Buli Gogoi, Inspector of Schools of Kamrup (Metro) said she did not know that a classroom in Arya Vidyapeeth Higher Secondary School was being converted into a toilet.