The lift installed at the Bahawalpur Block of King Edward Medical University (KEMU) is inaccessible to disabled students as the passages leading to the lift are blocked by old equipment, The Express Tribune has learnt.
The lift was installed at KEMU on July 30, 2010, so disabled students could get to the Physiology Department on the second floor and the Pathology Department on the first floor.
A computer laboratory donated by college alumni that offers students free computer services is also located on the second floor.
Disabled students at KEMU have to get their friends to carry them in their wheelchairs up the stairs to get to classes.
A KEMU official said on the condition of anonymity that the lift had been shut for several months and had become functional a couple of days ago after a story about it was published in The Express Tribune on Monday.
“The irony is that the disabled students for whom the lift was installed still cannot use it as the narrow passages leading to it are blocked with equipment. Someone in a wheelchair cannot pass through the passage,” the official said.
A disabled student at KEMU confirmed this.
“My friends told me that the lift was working now but I haven’t been able to use it,” he said.
“There are two passages leading to the lift. One passage is permanently blocked by cupboards and other equipment while the other is partially blocked.
A slim person can pass through. There is a heavy plant lying in the middle of the passage and equipment which makes it impossible for a wheelchair to pass through,” the student said.
KEMU administration director Dr Awais said that the equipment in the passage belonged to the Physiology Department and they had been asked to clear it several times.
He said he would get the passage cleared once the students wrote to him about the matter.
Told that the students had already written an application, he said he had not seen it and would act once he did.
Published in The Express Tribune, March 21st, 2012.
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