Last year, the board allowed insulin-dependent students taking classes X and XII board exams to carry sugar tablets, chocolate, candies and water bottles inside the centre.
NEW DELHI: Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) has clubbed students suffering from Type-1 diabetes with persons with disabilities (PwD) this year, asking them to fill up the forms for classes X and XII exams under this category.
Last year, the board allowed insulin-dependent students taking classes X and XII board exams to carry sugar tablets, chocolate, candies and water bottles inside the centre. These “children need frequent meals to avoid hypoglycaemia, which is a danger for life”, the CBSE circular had said.
However, diabetic students appearing for the boards have been asked to apply under the physical disability category to avail of these concessions. The exams are commencing from March 5.
Diabetes is not one of the 21 disabilities listed under Rights of Persons with Disabilities Act, 2017. Experts said that while such children were not entitled to a disability certificate, the CBSE move could lead to complications as these students might later seek benefits under the disability act.
While CBSE officials didn’t respond to TOI’s queries, a Class X student with Type-1 diabetes mellitus (T1DM) said, “The board has said we will be allowed this concession only if we fill up the form under the physical disability category.”
The concessions were allowed after Dr Ashok Jhingan, chairperson of Delhi Diabetes Research Centre, had approached CBSE to consider that such patients needed two to four insulin injections every day to maintain their sugar level and were advised not to have a long break between two meals.
Stressing that diabetes is not a disability, the doctor said all they need was special care. “Some of the top athletes such as Olympian Garry Hall have T1DM.”
Disability rights activist Dr Satendra Singh said some specific reasonable concessions were needed to help such people. “There is no point of getting a separate certificate for T1DM under the disability category as this will open a Pandora’s box as these people will demand benefits under the disability act.”