Differently-abled cry foul over PG seats

Differently-abled candidates at Rajiv Gandhi University of Health Sciences in Bangalore on Friday for their medical tests for postgraduation seats | Nagaraja Gadekal

Physically challenged candidates who turned up for medical tests at Rajiv Gandhi University of Health Sciences (RGUHS) on Friday complained of discrimination in the physically handicapped (PH) quota for postgraduate medical and dental seats.
Rajkumar (name changed), who suffers from a medical condition where the limbs are shorter, had come for his medical test from Tumkur. He has completed MBBS from Vydehi Institute of Medical Sciences.
“Despite having short limbs, I am confident that I can make a good surgeon. Still, the PH quota rules classify us under upper limbs and lower limbs. Why discriminate us when we have the required skills?” he asks.
Another candidate, Lakshmi, who completed MBBS from Mysore Medical College, rued the “lack of opportunities” in clinical medicine. “The Medical Council of India (MCI) specifies 3 per cent reservation across faculties for PH candidates. While the total intake has increased, the PH quota percentage has remained the same for years. The counselling process is not very helpful as we end up getting courses that we don’t want to (or cannot) do.”
Rajkumar wants to specialise in paediatrics so he can help others who share his predicament. “You know, I can drive a car, but I face discrimination at every stage. If I don’t get a clinical seat, I will lose out on other related fields as well.”
B Ashwathnarayan, who accompanied his sister on Friday, hopes that she gets a good rank and subsequently, a good course. “My sister suffers from polio, which has resulted in a crouched back and weak legs. Still, she is determined to study medicine so that she can help others,” he said.

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