JUST A FEW MINUTES TO GRANT US OUR RIGHTS - DEMAND PEOPLE WITH DISABILITIES!
It’s been a six year long wait for 10% people of this great democracy. People with disabilities in the country have waited for a legislation that will bring them closer to their goal of equality and justice. And now so close to achieving it, a cruel twist of fate has blocked their dreams. The Rights of Persons with Disabilities Bill which was tabled in the Rajya Sabha last week is yet to see the light of the day, as the Parliament was adjourned. Parliament is reconvening on 14th December. We have three days to pass this Bill. It will take just a few minutes to change the lives of nearly 10 crore people. People with disabilities want only sixty seconds in the Rajya Sabha time to help change their destinies. No party opposes any aspect of his Bill.
The Rights of Persons with Disabilities Bill will affect the lives of close to hundred million disabled people in India who struggle everyday to lead a life of dignity and equality and of equal opportunity. Their struggles against discrimination and deprivation had reached a crescendo which resulted in the Bill.
Some highlights of the Rights of Persons with Disabilities Bill are given below:
The Bill covers 21 categories of disabilities. People with Autism, Neurological impairment, Dwarfism, Acid Attack Victims, Hemophilia, learning disabilities and several other impairments will benefit from the passing of the Bill. The earlier Act (Disability Act 1995) covered only seven categories of disabilities.
The Bill provides rights to people with all disabilities which didn’t exist before like –
- right to equality and non discrimination
- right to home and family
- access to justice
- protection from abuse, violence and exploitation
- protection from cruelty and inhuman treatment
- right to inherit and own property
- reproductive rights
- accessibility of buildings, transportation, information, communication, technologies, media and electronic goods and has timelines to make them accessible.
- Increase in reservation in higher educational institutions from 3% to 4% for persons with disabilities. With an improved definition of disability, a lot more people would be covered.
- Increase in Government and public sector employment from 3% to 4% for persons with disabilities and covers more categories of people with disabilities like intellectual impairment, mental illness, autism, multiple disabilities, etc.
- Increase from 3% to 4% reservation in all poverty alleviation programmes. With improvement in definition of disabilities, more people will benefit from programmes. Further, it says quantum of assistance to persons with disabilities under social security schemes and programmes shall be at least twenty-five per cent higher than similar schemes applicable to others. Recognising “disability cost‟ and making a provision for it would be a major gain.
- Reservation in allotment of agricultural land and land for purpose of housing, business, recreation, etc. which will help people with disabilities to acquire assets
- There are punishments and penalties for those who violate the provisions of the Bill.
Thanks & Regards,
National Association of The Deaf