Projects : RPWD

Rights for Persons with Disabilities

The Indian Sign Language (ISL) version of RPWD.

I will explain you about the RPWD bill. India ratified UNCRPD on 1st October 2007, at that time Javed Abidi, Disability Activist, consulted the Indian Govt. explaining the need of a new law for all the Disabilities.

The Govt. at that time suggested that add-ons could be made to the old PWD Act 1995, but no creation of a new law. The debate of creating a new law over the old law continued for seven months. Eventually, in May 2010, the Govt. agreed to making a new law.

Visually Impaired, Orthopedically-Challenged, Deaf and various other disabilities were considered for the same. A committee was set up to prepare the new RPWD bill and surprisingly no deaf person was called to join the committee. On questioning, the answer we got from the Govt. was there is already a hard-of-hearing member present but he does not know the sign language.

After constant meetings, A.S.Narayanan (myself), was the first one to be called to join the committee and working of the RPWD bill started to progress in the span of 2 years.

If you remember the RPWD Bill rally of 2014 in February in Delhi where thousands of deaf people came, it was to tell the Govt. to table the RPWD Bill in the Parliament session. 58 different bills were already listed and only 8 had to be taken. Thanks to our protests, the RPWD Bill was considered in the February 2014 session of Parliament. But due to the disagreements of some others disability groups, they protested against it so the the Govt. sent the bill to the Standing Committee in April 2014. In May 2014, new Govt., the BJP, came into the power.

The new Govt. took the reports about the RPWD bill from the Standing Committee. Disability groups including NAD were called by the standing committee to give the recommendations for the bill.

The Govt. in December 2015 – January 2016 sent the bill again to the Group of Ministers chaired by Mr. Rajnath Singh, Home Minister. It was also sent to the PMO in June 2015. NAD recently found out in the newspaper that the term "hearing impaired" has been used in the bill. We only support two definitions "deaf" and "hard of hearing". So, we sent several letters to demand usage of those terms.

We hope and pray that the Govt. will accept them. May be the bill will come up in 2016 December session or February 2017, but it is sure that bill will soon get passed. We pray that the Govt. speeds up the work.

History of Activites

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Location: Indian Social Institute, 10 Institutional Area, Lodi Road, New Delhi    Activities: Events
NATIONAL WORKSHOP ON DRAFT RULES OF RIGHTS OF PERSONS WITH DISABILITIES

The National Workshop on Draft Rules of Rights of Persons with Disabilities was held on 2nd April 2017 at Indian Social Institute, 10 Institutional Area, Lodi Raod, New Delhi organised by National Association of the Deaf (NAD), All India Federation of the Deaf (AIFD) and All India Foundation of Deaf Women (AIFDW). It was a one day long workshop on Draft Rules of RPWD from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. There were about 91 deaf leaders from all over India including Delhi, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan, Punjab, Chandigarh, Maharashtra, Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Odisha, West Bengal and etc.

The workshop started with the welcome note by Mr. Anuj Jain, Executive Director of NAD. He said that the RPWD Act received the assent of the President on 26th December 2016. Currently 2 people from the deaf sector are part of the planning committee for the draft rules, they are Shri A.S. Narayanan, President of National Association of the Deaf, Smt. Uma Tuli, Founder Secretary of Amar Jyoti Charitable Trust and Shri S K Rungta, General Secretary of National Federation of the Blind.

Mr. Anuj Jain Introduced all the participants in the workshop.

Mr. A S Narayanan, President of NAD the participants of the workshop that the top most priority for the deaf sector is Employment and then Education. He then shared his experience about the RPWD Bill. When an act gets asent from the president all the chapters in the act are then changed to rules. These rules may vary from the actual chapters and sections mentioned in the Act.

The government initially wanted to stick with the PWD act and asked the disability group to add on any changes to the act. After heavy discussions amongst the group it was decided that a new Act is what we need.

For the first time a deaf person was included in the working group of the Act. Narayanan was not familiar with the process of the act or anything of this sort and in these meetings he realised that his voice was not being heard. After a few meetings he learned to be strong and encouraged his interpreters to make sure his voice was heard by the other members every time.

In 2013, the RPWD Act could have been passed but the Lok Pal Bill became the major focus and was given the priority. NAD gathered 3000 people from all over India  at India gate to get the Bill passed in the parliament. We were successful in getting the attention of the media and the government but still there was no progress. In 2015, with the new government the RPWD bill was moved to the parliament and it was agreed that the term Hearing Impaired should not be solely used but the term Deaf and Hearing Impaired should be used.

Mr. T K M Sandeep, Vice President of NAD and CEO of Deaf Enabled Foundation said that the purpose for us to know all the chapters and sections in the Act meant for the deaf in the Bill is to ensure that all these provisions are carried forward in the Draft Rules of the RPWD bill too.

Mr. Sibaji Panda said other disability groups have come a long way fighting for their rightful needs. We have just started. Narayanan has been to a few meetings and has found it difficult to understand all the things because the terminology is different. Linking our needs to the services provided by the government is essential. Identification of such needs is then significant.

All of us are aware of the situation in public transport. The bus conductor shouts out the different drop off points and we the deaf are left unaware. We need to keep asking the fellow passengers when our stop will come. How long will we do this? We need to find a way to make our lives easier.

We are open to suggestions from all of you. So, now all the participants will be divided in groups.

Mr. A S Narayanan, President of NAD, Mr. Zorin Singha, Secretary of NAD, Mr. Onkar Sharma, General Secretary of All India Federation of the Deaf and Mrs. Uma Kapoor, General Secretary of All India Foundation of Deaf Women thanked everyone for coming and participating in the workshop.

Photo Gallery

Workshop on the Draft Rules regarding the Rights of Persons with Disabilities Act 2016

Dear Deaf Leaders,

Greetings from the National Association of the Deaf!

We are very glad to announce that we, All India Federation of the Deaf, NAD, All India Foundation of Deaf Women are going to organise the Workshop on the Draft to Make Rules on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities Act 2016 at Room No. 207, Conference Room, Indian Social Institute, 10 Institutional Area, Lodi Road, New Delhi - 110003 near Shirdi Sai Baba Mandir on 2nd April 2017, Sunday from 9.30 am to 5 pm.

We invite each of the state and district deaf associations to send two persons to participate in the Workshop. We need your inputs to make the Draft to Make Rules on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities Act 2016. 

We will have only 70 seats available for our workshop. We will provide Tea and Lunch only to you. You please pay for the travelling expenses and accommodation expenses by your association/yourself.

With warm regards,

A.S.Narayanan                                    Dr Onkar Sharma                                Ms Uma kapoor
President                                             General Secretary                               General Secretary
National Association of the Deaf          All India Federation of the Deaf          All India Federation of the Deaf Women

Documents

Download Sr. Topic Description File Type / Size
1 Invitation Letter from NAD for the Workshop Invitation Letter for Workshop on the Draft Rules for RPWD Act 2016 PDF / (0.28 MB)

Location: New Delhi    Activities:
Your Suggestions/Inputs for Provisions of RPWD Act 2016

Dear Deaf People in India,

I am requesting you to read RPWD Act 2016 (attached below), and give us your suggestions/inputs/feedback on Provisions for the Deaf. 

You can give your information at this link: https://goo.gl/forms/JwVObUDzNyCCADoY2 or you can e-mail me at aqil.c@nadindia.org 

The deadline to give your feedback is on 27 March 2017.

Warm regards,

Aqil Chinoy
Vice-President

Documents

Download Sr. Topic Description File Type / Size
1 RPWD Act 2016 approved by President of India The original RPWD Act 2016, that was approved by President of India on 28th December 2016 @ New Delhi. PDF / (1.14 MB)
2 Notice from MSJE (DEPwD) Notice Inviting Objections and Suggestions on the Draft RPwD Rules, 2017 PDF / (0.07 MB)
3 Draft Rules of RPWD 2016 Draft Rules of RPWD 2016 that Central Government proposes to make. You also need to read and inform us whether you agree or disagree with certain clauses. DOCX / (0.08 MB)

Location: Outside DDA, Vikas Sadan, INA, New Delhi    Activities: Events
Dr. Rishi Raj Bhati must be reinstated back into the DDA with full dignity

Dr. Rishi Raj Bhati was recently appointed as Director, Public Relations of Delhi Development Authority (DDA) and joined the said organisation on 10th January, 2017 on deputation. He is a person with disability (polio). The very next day, Dr. Bhati was handed over a relieving letter stating that the nature of the job would cause him “inconvenience” and that it would also “not be in the organization's interest.” 

This is a case of blatant discrimination! It was widely reported in the media on 12th January 2017. The episode also stirred a lot of anger amongst disability groups.

Disabled Rights Group (DRG) with NAD and many other disabled groups about 150 people  held a protest today against DDA's discriminatory action at outside DDA, Vikas Sadan, INA, New Delhi on 16th January, 2017.

A delegation met DDA Vice Chairman, Uday Pratap Singh who said DDA will issue a fresh letter of apology to Dr. Bhati and make every attempt to reinstate him with dignity. The delegation led by Javed Abidi, Convener, DRG, also asked for data on the number of persons with disabilities working in DDA along with a disability wise break up. DDA officials have promised that they will gather this information at the earliest and send it to DRG.

Photo Gallery

Location: Rajya Sabha, Indian Parliament    Activities:
Rights of Persons With Disabilities 2016 Bill

We are pleased to share with you all, the official Rights of Persons with Disabilities Act 2016, that was approved by the President of India on 27th December, 2016. You can refer to the following link to download the documents. 

We have also enclosed the older versions of RPWD, and later we will add PWD 1995 for your records.

Documents

Download Sr. Topic Description File Type / Size
1 RPWD Bill 2016 (passed by Rajya Sabha) This is the bill that was passed by Rajya Sabha. It does not contain the changes passed by Lok Sabha. PDF / (0.15 MB)
2 Rights of Persons with Disabilities Act, 2016 The Official RPWD Act, 2016 that was approved by the President of India on 27th December, 2016. PDF / (1.14 MB)
Grand Assembly: Pass the RPWD Bill in Lok Sabha on 16th Dec 2016 @ 1:30pm at Jantar Mantar, Delhi

Dear All,

Yesterday was a huge victory for all of us but as you know the fight is not over yet. The Bill still needs to pass through the Lok Sabha.

Unfortunately, the Lok Sabha has been adjourned till tomorrow. We now have only one day to go and this is cutting it too fine. We cannot be sitting silently and watching - waiting for the Bill to pass on its own. We all need to come together once again and put in our best efforts to make this happen.

NAD with DRG is now planning a GRAND ASSEMBLY at Jantar Mantar tomorrow - Friday, 16th December at 1:30 p.m. This is our last shot, else all our efforts will go to waste. For all of you based in Haryana, Punjab, Himachal Pradesh, Delhi/NCR, please join in LARGE numbers (2000 - 3000 deaf people), with your banners and placards. If the Bill gets passed, we will turn this Assembly into a Grand Celebration or else, God forbid, a protest is in order. We need hundreds of you at Jantar Mantar tomorrow, to make any kind of an impact.

For those of you based outside Delhi/NCR, please spread the word widely.

With regards,
NAD India

Thanks Shri Thaawar Chand Gehlot, Honble Minister for Social Justice & Empowerment at his residence

The celebration continued all the way to Hon'ble Minister Shri Thaawar Chand Gehlot's residence, New Delhi on 16th December 2016. 500 deaf and disabled people representing various groups reached the Minister's residence to thank him and celebrated with him and the officials of the Department of Empowerment of Persons with Disabilities.

Photo Gallery

Location: Jantar Mantar, New Delhi    Activities: Dharna
Mega Rally In Action with Demand for Passing RPWD in Winter Session of Parliament

This is the last week of the Parliament's winter session. The house was adjourned last week till Wednesday, 14th December 2016, tomorrow. That leaves us with only 3 working days of the House. Will the Parliamentarians rise above politics, spare a few minutes and pass the disability rights bill? 

60 seconds is all it will take to change the lives of 70 million people with disabilities. Today a rally of hundreds of people was held in Delhi to appeal to the Parliamentarians and urge them to pass the Rights of Persons with Disabilities Bill in this winter session. 

With only three days to go for the Parliament winter session to end, 450 deaf people and disabled people of this nation are slowly losing their patience. There have been multiple rallies and vigils across India in the last 2-3 days since the Parliament got adjourned. Today a rally was held in Delhi starting from Jantar Mantar which ended at Parliament Street, New Delhi on 13th December, 2016.

A delegation of the Disabled Rights Group then met with Shri Ghulam Nabi Azad, Member of Parliament & Leader of the Opposition, Rajya Sabha and apprised him of the issue of the pending disability rights bill. Shri Azad was also joined by Shri Raj Babbar, Member of Parliament and both leaders not only showed great interest in the Bill but also extended their best support to ensure that the Bill gets passed in the ongoing winter session.

The delegation comprised of Javed Abidi (Honorary Director, NCPEDP); Madhu (Action for Ability Development & Inclusion); Pradeep Raj (Federation of Disabled Rights); Javed Ahmed Tak (Humanity Welfare Organization); Neera Chawla (Muskaan); A. S. Narayanan & Anuj Jain (National Association of the Deaf) and Mohit Singla.

Photo Gallery

Location: Jantar Mantar, New Delhi    Activities:
Mega Rally: Pass the Rpwd Bill 2016 in the Winter Session of Rajya Sabha

Dear Members/Non-Members,

Greetings from National Association of the Deaf!

We would like to invite all of you to join the Mega Rally: Pass the RPWD Bill 2016 in the Winter Session of Rajya Sabha at Jantar Mantar, New Delhi on 13th December, 2016 at 2:00pm. We need 5000 deaf people to join the Mega Rally. Please spread it with your friends.

PASS THE RIGHTS OF PERSONS WITH DISABILITIES BILL

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,

Narayanan
Secretary
National Association of The Deaf

Location: USI, New Delhi    Activities: Meeting
Meeting of the National Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities

Mr. Anuj Jain (Joint Secretary, NAD), Mr. G. Surya Pratap (Co-Worker, NAD), Ms. Rupmani Chhetri (Deaf Women Committee, NAD) and Mr. Sachin Singh (Member, NAD) participated  in the Meeting of the National Committee on Rights of Persons with Disabilities in New Delhi on 10th December, 2016 discussing various issues such as Rights of Persons with Disabilities Bill, Inclusion of disability in Sustainable Development Goals.

PASS THE RIGHTS OF PERSONS WITH DISABILITIES BILL

JUST A FEW MINUTES TO GRANT US OUR RIGHTS -  DEMAND PEOPLE WITH DISABILITIES !

Its 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.

Photo Gallery

Location: Delhi    Activities: Dharna
Candlelight vigil seeking early passage of Bill for RPWD

UPDATE ON RIGHTS OF PERSONS WITH DISABILITIES BILL - The Bill was finally moved today but unfortunately was not passed and the House was adjourned. This, in spite of the repeated appeals the Hon'ble Chairperson himself made to all Parliamentarians to pass the non-controversial Bill.

Three years and counting. How much longer will persons with disabilities have to wait for the passage of the Bill? Time will soon run out and the winter session will be over. Disabled Rights Group came together at Jantar Mantar today in solidarity and to remind the Parliamentarians to rise above politics and pass the Bill. #PassRPWDBill

Photo Gallery

Location: New Delhi    Activities: Announcements
RPWD will be taken up during the ongoing Winter Session of Parliament

Breaking News: The much awaited Rights of Persons with Disabilities Bill will be taken up by the Government during the ongoing Winter Session of Parliament. In all probability, it will be tabled in the Rajya Sabha TOMORROW - 2nd December - the eve of the World Disability Day.

There was a lot of confusion all day today and rumours were afloat. It happened because PIB issued a press release yesterday evening and then withdrew it earlier today morning! Some government officials even went to the extent of denying that Cabinet had approved the "proposal" in their meeting yesterday!

Why was the PIB Press Release withdrawn? Government didn't want any pre publicity. They wanted a Big Bang announcement after the Bill gets passed.”

Government wants the Bill to be passed by the Parliament at the earliest. Surely within the ongoing Winter Session, and as far as possible, on or around the World Disability Day. Efforts are on to build a political consensus. Parliamentary Affairs Minister has been instructed.

Javed Abidi, 1.12.2016
National Centre for Promotion of Employment for Disabled People (NCPEDP)

(Extracted from Facebook)

Documents

Download Sr. Topic Description File Type / Size
1 Rajya Sabh - Revised List of Business List of Papers that will be discussed in the Winter Session of the Parliament. PDF / (0.04 MB)
2 Text of PIB Press Release The information taken from PIB on 30th November 2016, 19:38 IST PDF / (0.12 MB)
District Deaf Workshop on UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities

We organized the second kind of the District Deaf Workshop on UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNCRPD) on 6th March 2016 at Abohar, Punjab between 9:30 am to 5:00 pm. There were about 85 deaf delegates from all over Abohar, Punjab attended the workshop for one day.

Mr. Vishal Arora, Treasurer of National Association of the Deaf presented the different PowerPoint Presentations about the Human Rights on Video, the human rights/laws, & UNCRPD. We created an awareness on UNCRPD to help deaf people understand and know the laws and rights of the deaf. It helps to empower them to do themselves by their own decision in their lives in India. 

A milestone for the advocacy of the rights of persons with disabilities is now steadily gaining worldwide acceptance and support. This is known as the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. The Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) refers to a document focusing on international human rights of people with disabilities. It was created by the United Nations and is being monitored by the Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. 

The Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities was adopted by the United Nations General Assembly on December 13, 2006. The Convention was opened for signature on March 30, 2007. It then came into force on May 3, 2008, after the Convention’s ratification by the 20th party. There are a total of 71 countries that have ratified the convention. Some of the countries that have ratified the Convention include Australia, Belgium, China, India, Saudi Arabia, Thailand, and United Kingdom and Northern Ireland. The UN.org website has a section where interested groups and individuals can read the latest developments regarding the convention. 

The Convention intends to ensure equal rights to people with disabilities. This is done by elaborating in detail the rights of persons with disabilities and setting out a code of implementation. 

Guiding Principles of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities:-

Eight principles form the base for the Convention and the articles included in it. Below are the guiding principles:

  • Respect for inherent dignity, individual autonomy including the freedom to make one's own choices, and independence of persons
  • Non-discrimination
  • Full and effective participation and inclusion in society
  • Respect for difference and acceptance of persons with disabilities as part of human diversity and humanity
  • Equality of opportunity
  • Accessibility
  • Equality between men and women
  • Respect for the evolving capacities of children with disabilities and respect for the right of children with disabilities to preserve their identities 

India ratified UNCRPD on the 1st of October, 2007. India was the 7th country in the world and the first significant country to do so. The ratification of UNCRPD was a direct result of the advocacy by NCPEDP and Disabled Rights Group (DRG).

UNCRPD is an international instrument that provides persons with disabilities the same human rights that everyone else enjoys. It marks a radical shift in defining and understanding disability - it moves from a medical/social perspective to a human-rights based approach.

However, UNCRPD is just a paper if it is not implemented. Disabled people have to play an active role in the implementation and monitoring of UNCRPD.

NCPEDP has therefore launched an advocacy initiative for speedy implementation of UNCRPD in India.

650 million people, roughly 10 per cent of the world's population, live with a disability, according to the United Nations. In India alone, there are roughly 100 million people with disabilities, which is almost 1/6th of population of disabled people in the world.

Photo Gallery

Location: Seminar Hall, USI, New Delhi     Activities: Meeting
Meeting of the National Committee on Rights of Persons with Disabilities

Mr. A. S. Narayanan, Secretary of National Association of the Deaf, and Mr. Sachin Singh, Member of NAD participated in the meeting on 5th  – 6th March 2016 at Seminar Hall, USI, New Delhi.

NCPEDP with support from Mphasis organised a training on accessibility standards and audits for National Disability Network leaders from across the country. Here are some pictures. This training is being conducted by DEOC - Diversity and Equal Opportunity Centre.

National Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities India (NCRPD) meeting held in Delhi. Issues such as the Rights of Persons with Disabilities Bill, the amendment to the National Building Code, future course of the National Disability Network, DPI India and the upcoming DPI World Assembly, among others were discussed. 

Photo Gallery

District Deaf Workshop on UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities

We organized the second kind of the District Deaf Workshop on UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNCRPD) on 5th March 2016 at Muktsar, Punjab between 9:30 am to 5:00 pm. There were about 85 deaf delegates from all over Muktsar, Punjab attended the workshop for one day.

Mr. Anuj Jain, Joint Secretary of National Association of the Deaf presented the different PowerPoint Presentations about the Human Rights on Video, the human rights/laws, & UNCRPD. We created an awareness on UNCRPD to help deaf people understand and know the laws and rights of the deaf. It helps to empower them to do themselves by their own decision in their lives in India. 

A milestone for the advocacy of the rights of persons with disabilities is now steadily gaining worldwide acceptance and support. This is known as the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. The Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) refers to a document focusing on international human rights of people with disabilities. It was created by the United Nations and is being monitored by the Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. 

The Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities was adopted by the United Nations General Assembly on December 13, 2006. The Convention was opened for signature on March 30, 2007. It then came into force on May 3, 2008, after the Convention’s ratification by the 20th party. There are a total of 71 countries that have ratified the convention. Some of the countries that have ratified the Convention include Australia, Belgium, China, India, Saudi Arabia, Thailand, and United Kingdom and Northern Ireland. The UN.org website has a section where interested groups and individuals can read the latest developments regarding the convention. 

The Convention intends to ensure equal rights to people with disabilities. This is done by elaborating in detail the rights of persons with disabilities and setting out a code of implementation.

Guiding Principles of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities:-

Eight principles form the base for the Convention and the articles included in it. Below are the guiding principles:

  • Respect for inherent dignity, individual autonomy including the freedom to make one's own choices, and independence of persons
  • Non-discrimination
  • Full and effective participation and inclusion in society
  • Respect for difference and acceptance of persons with disabilities as part of human diversity and humanity
  • Equality of opportunity
  • Accessibility
  • Equality between men and women
  • Respect for the evolving capacities of children with disabilities and respect for the right of children with disabilities to preserve their identities

India ratified UNCRPD on the 1st of October, 2007. India was the 7th country in the world and the first significant country to do so. The ratification of UNCRPD was a direct result of the advocacy by NCPEDP and Disabled Rights Group (DRG).

UNCRPD is an international instrument that provides persons with disabilities the same human rights that everyone else enjoys. It marks a radical shift in defining and understanding disability - it moves from a medical/social perspective to a human-rights based approach.

However, UNCRPD is just a paper if it is not implemented. Disabled people have to play an active role in the implementation and monitoring of UNCRPD.

NCPEDP has therefore launched an advocacy initiative for speedy implementation of UNCRPD in India.

650 million people, roughly 10 per cent of the world's population, live with a disability, according to the United Nations. In India alone, there are roughly 100 million people with disabilities, which is almost 1/6th of population of disabled people in the world.

Photo Gallery

Location: Jantar Mantar, New Delhi    Activities: Dharna
The Cabinet expedite the Passage of  the Rights of Persons with Disabilities Bill 2014

CANDLE LIGHT VIGIL at Jantar Mantar, New Delhi on 19th December 2015 organised by Disabled Rights Group & National Associaiton of the Deaf to request to pass the RPWD Bill in this Winter Session Parliament.

350 deaf people and cross-disability groups and individuals from across Delhi participated in a candle light vigil as an appeal to Parliamentarians to pass the Rights of Persons with Disabilities Bill, 2014 that is currently stuck in the Cabinet despite the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment sending it to the Cabinet on 26th November 2015.

They requested to appeal to the Govt/Cabinet to expedite the passage of the RPWD Bill. After this week, we have just one more week left before the Winter Session of the Parliament comes to an end. At this vigil, they would earnestly appeal to the Govt to please ensure that the Cabinet passes the Bill urgently and formally sends it back to the Rajya Sabha. They would also appeal to all the political parties to treat this matter as a completely non-political issue and to ensure that the Bill is passed within the current Winter Session.

There were Mr. Javed Abidi (Covenor, Disabled Rights Group), Ms. Shamyala (Director, AADI), and Mr. Anuj Jain (Joint Secretary, NAD) spoke related to the RPWD Bill as well as many other leaders of disabled organisations participated in the Candle Light Vigil.

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Location: Seminar Hall, USI, New Delhi    Activities: Meeting
Meeting of National Committee on The Rights of Persons with Disabilities

Mr. A. S. Narayanan, Secretary of NAD, Mr. Anuj Jain, Joint Secretary of NAD, Mrs. Geeta Sharma, Women Secretary of NAD and Mr. Sachin Singh, Member of NAD participated in the meeting on 5th & 6th September 2015 at Seminar Hall, USI, New Delhi.

A very good 2 days long meeting. Heavy duty brainstorming. Many new ideas. NCRPD committed itself to making India accessible. We will unveil the agenda as we go along. For now, one single demand. Let's all collectively ensure that the 98 Smart Cities are built/developed on the principles of Universal Design. Don't allow any more construction which effectively leaves disabled people out and not just excludes them but discriminates against them.

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Location: India Habitat Centre, New Delhi    Activities: Meeting
The Round Table on the Rights of Persons with Disabilites Bill

The Disability Rights Fund (DRF) organized a 'Roundtable on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities Bill' on 31st January to 1st February in New Delhi, India.

The Bill was referred to the Parliamentary Standing Committee of the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment (MSJE) earlier in 2014. The Committee then invited feedback and suggestions from the general public on the Bill and received an overwhelming response from various organizations, activists and individuals.

NCPEDP commissioned a Study to the Diversity and Equal Opportunity Centre (DEOC) to collate feedback and suggestions that were sent to the Committee. This was completed in December 2014.

Based on the findings of the Study, NCPEDP decided to organize a Roundtable meeting of a few key leaders of the Indian disability movement from across the country. Mr. A.S. Narayanan, Secretary of NAD, Mr. Anuj Jain, Joint Secretary of NAD & Mrs. Geeta Sharma, Women Secretary of NAD were invited to participate in the workshop.

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Departmentally Related Standing Committee on Social Justice & Empowerment

Lok Sabha Secretariat has issued a notice on 26th September, 2014 inviting suggestions and comments on "The Rights of Persons with Disabilities Bill, 2014". It has been 5 days and we haven't seen any movement in the disability sector to do with this crucial and much awaited development. Chances are that people were not even aware that this announcement has been made! Interestingly, the Standing Committee has given only 15 days out of which 5 were over. Roughly, the deadline is the 10th October, 2014. With the nation in a bit of a holiday mood, it seems like a daunting task for the leadership of the sector to wake up, sacrifice the holidays, and respond to the challenge. Let's see how this story unfolds!

The deadline for sending feedback/comments to the Standing Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities Bill 2014 has been extended!!

The Press Communiqué (as seen above) that was published on 10th October, 2014 was inviting suggestions and comments which would be sent within 15 days of this day's advertisement. We encouraged the disability sector to send their feedback to the Committee, the details of which are given in the Communiqué.

Location: Indian Social Institute, Lodhi Road, New Delhi    Activities: Workshop
National Workshop on the Rights of Persons With Disabilities Bill 2014

Organised by National Association of the Deaf on 12th to 13th April 2014 at Indian Social Institute, 10, Institutional Area, Lodi Road, New Delhi, the workshop summarizes the perspectives of the different 75 deaf leaders from all over the country on the desired revisions of the RPWD 2014 bill before it becomes into an Act.

Mr Javid Abidi - address through video with ISL interpretation.

Mr Abidi stated the condition of the disabled in India post Independence. With no laws the disabled were marginalized at all times and everywhere. Things began to move with the 1995 PWD ACT, however this was mostly on paper. In time due to the hard work of DRG, NCEDP India ratified the UNCRPD in 2007. Again DRG and NCEDP worked diligently and asked the government to draft a new law which in 2011 culminated in the RPWD Bill. The 1995 PWD Act recognized only physical disabilities. However the RPWD Bill recognized mental disabilities also and provided rights for people with mental disabilities for the very first time in India. Many disability groups looked at the RPWD bill with only their personal interests in mind and opposed the Bill. This resulted in divisions in the Disability community, difference of opinion, created doubts in the minds of many and today it is at the standing committee awaiting the approval after a new government is formed. The RPWD bill 2013 has so many benefits even for the deaf. Section 41 on access to information and communication technology says that the government should ensure that persons with disabilities have access to electronic media by providing sign language interpretation and close captioning. Sections 15 and 16 also ensure that education to the deaf is provided in the most appropriate means of communication and that teachers should be trained in sign language. Therefore, this bill had many positive points. We are going to keep fighting now to get this bill passed in the parliament.

Dr. Madan Vasishta address through Video.

The PwD act of 1995 was not very powerful and did not have many benefits. I hope the RPWD bill gets passes in the parliament. I had a discussion with a deaf lawyer here about the RPWD bill. He said there are a number of good points.

The most important thing to remember is to have access for Deaf.

  1. Sign Language Interpreters
  2. Close Captioning
  3. Accessible and Quality Education for Deaf
  4. Relay services

With the above mentioned services and access to information, communication every Deaf individual can be an active and equal citizen of any country. If Dr Madan Vasishta did not have access to sign language interpreter services he would not have been able to complete his Phd, he would not have been able to head educational institutions in America. The same needs to happed in India too. Education is very important. Deaf need education to get jobs. There should be schools and colleges so that the deaf can study, and get degrees and jobs.

In America, the Americans with Disabilities Act was passes in 1990 which had provisions for interpreters, close captioning, etc. The deaf benefitted from the provision of these services and were able to develop. Today here in America, we have deaf professors, teachers, actors, lawyers, doctors, etc. A deaf person has access to all services and can do whatever they want to do and develop.

Mr. Aqil Chinoy - Accessibility: Communication and Technology

Drove down the message - accessibility in communication is the most important aspect for the Deaf community. The current requirements for access to communication with long term benefits

  1. Interpreters
  2. Technology like VRS, close captioning, etc.

Further more after a scrutinizing the RPWD Bill and comparing it with the UNCRPD the following aspects came to light.

  1. The UNCRPD defines "languages" to include signed languages but the RPWD 2013 version does not include signed languages. The definition of languages should be included in RPWD.
  2. The UNCRPD defines “freedom of speech” very clearly and includes sign languages and augmentative and augmentative communication (AAC). But the RPWD 2012 version’s definition of “freedom of speech” is very narrow and does not include sign languages and AAC. The definition of AAC in RWPD is also very limited.
  3. For access to information and communication technology, the RPWD draft 2012 version was more elaborate and detailed. The 2013 version does not have many of the points included in the 2012 version.
  4. The UNCRPD has a separate article on accessibility which is not there in RPWD. The UNCRPD provisions for research and development and assistive technologies in article 4 are also missing from the RPWD.
  5. On participation in cultural life, recreation, leisure and sport, the UNCRPD article is detailed and clear. But the RPWD is not specific on which kind of accessibility. Also, UNCRPD’s article 30 clearly recognizes sign languages and deaf culture. But RWPD does not.

The positive aspects of the RPWD Bill:

  1. For accessibility, both UNCRPD and RPWD 2012 mention interpreters and close captioning.
  2. The RPWD draft 2012 has a section on personal mobility, which is one good point in RPWD that is missing in UNCRPD.
  3. There are many benefits for the deaf from the current provisions due to the emphasis on use of technology for information.

Mr. Gyananda Purohit – “Accessibility: RPWD bill 2014”

Mr. Gyananda Purohit focused on the rural development and accessibility issues. Parents in rural areas are hesitant to send their children to schools and hostels in cities that are far.

The Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan (SSA) guarantees education for all. But deaf students are put in hearing schools where teachers don’t know sign language. It is better to have deaf people as teachers to teach deaf students. The SSA provides for special schools for children with disabilities. But here also, the completely deaf and blind are refused admission. Only children with low vision or who are hard of hearing are accepted. So this is a problem. But now under MRC, deaf also get reservation.

In MP, there is a department called GAD which can be questioned if the deaf are not given jobs. Unemployed deaf are given an unemployment allowance.

Misuse of Laws by non disabled people for personal benefits by issuance of disability certificates through incorrect means is high. The RPWD Bill needs to be more specific and clear if it aims at working towards providing Rights to Persons with Disabilities. At the same time the disabled communities , the Deaf need to educate themselves with the laws so that they can question the authorities if they are being discriminated. Renting of apartments, accessibility in communication , information for Deaf in prison, hostels, hotels etc has still not been looked into. The isolated deaf in rural areas are not even fluent sign language users to protect their rights one needs to reach out to them as well.

Dr. Melissa G. Wallang – “Accessibility and Deafness”

The main barrier for deaf people is communication. Accessibility is of three types:

  1. Physical and built environments
  2. Transportation
  3. Information and technology

UNCRPD emphasizes on communication. Communication is a two-way process between a speaker and a hearer. Language is the foundation of communication. Communication can be in many forms – writing, speaking, signing, etc. The deaf have been excluded from life, they have been isolated and have no access to information in the hearing world.

UNCRPD acknowledges that communication systems can be of many varieties. Most events and programs on deaf celebration days gift hearing aids to the deaf children. But hearing aids are not the complete solution. Example, when there is thunder, hearing aids can hurt the ear. We need to ask ourselves what do we need. How do we see ourselves? Do we see ourselves as someone who needs hearing aids? With sign language, we can have communication access. And with communication access, we can access justice, health, science and technology, media, etc. and most importantly with sign language we can access education.

National Curriculum Framework 2005 (NCF) says that according to law, sign language and braille should be used in schools and teachers should be trained in ISL. The disability issue here comes under the concept of inclusive education. The NCF text books have one page on ISL which is not enough. NCERT keeps changing the curriculum. It becomes difficult to keep up with the changes and adapt the books in Braille or in Sign Language. Again Deaf children are being mainstreamed and it’s a major task to reach out to the teachers of mainstream education. The special educators of the Deaf are not very open to learning Sign Language. So do you think that RPWD can change the situation? Can it bring sign language into schools? The law should clearly say what sign language means – that it has a grammar. Just saying that it is a language is not enough.

We should not see ourselves as a disabled people. We should see ourselves as a community speaking a different language. If the government gives funds to develop textbooks and other material in the minority languages and also protects these languages, then the government should also protect ISL and develop material in ISL.

Mr. Sunil Sahasrabudhe – “Deaf Education and Deaf Ways of Educating Deaf Children”

How do we teach deaf children? The Deaf way of teaching relates to Deaf culture and sign language.

Javed Abidi stated that the 2012 RPWD for deaf education mentions sign language however Sunil disagrees. Just knowledge of sign language for teachers is not enough. Sign language is included in AAC but only sign language is not important. The most important key in Deaf Education is Sign Bilingual Education for the Deaf. Oralism per se is fine but should not be taught in schools or be the main focus in schools. Sign language plus reading and writing, developing literacy of Deaf children is important. Teachers need to have subject knowledge and clear concepts, the skills to convey these in sign language to deaf children.

The 1995 PwD act had provisions for special schools. However looking at the RPWD Bill the emphasize is on inclusive education. Inclusive education may work well for children with other disabilities, however it is not suitable for deaf children, it does not work as effectively as it has been thought to be. In a classroom, an interpreter alone is not enough. For deaf children, we need deaf schools where a Deaf child will understand the Deaf culture, his identity with the community, learn, use and excel in his language – sign language. The RPWD also encourages higher education but does not mention interpreters in colleges. Interpreters are necessary for higher education of the deaf.

Dr. Surinder P. K. Randhawa – “Education of the deaf in the light of the RPWD”

As a teacher of the Deaf for many years Dr Randhawa realized that teaching Deaf children through Oralism was not a total success. Children failed to learn, and ironically they had a separate way of communicating among themselves and understood each other very well through sign language. However the B.Ed Special Education (HI) course does not even mention sign language as an option for communicating with Deaf. Around 50% deaf are oral and have no experience and knowledge of sign language and deaf culture, therefore it is hard to give proof to the government of deaf community, deaf culture and sign language.

The RPWD talks about inclusive education, but government schools are in a very poor condition with little infrastructure and material. This poses a major problem. The PwD Act had many provisions, however there was not enough awareness among parents and teacher of Deaf of these provisions.

Close scrutiny of the UNCRPD and RPWD Bill the following observations were made.

  1. UNCRPD ensures secondary and tertiary education for people with disabilities. But the RPWD does not touch this topic in the same way.
  2. Chapter 3 of RPWD Bill on education mentions building accessibility but not communication accessibility. It also mentions monitoring of attainment levels but the reality would be different. Deaf children attend schools but there is very little learning taking place. Who would be accountable for this?
  3. Both special education and inclusive education for the deaf have failed for various reasons. In special schools spoken language is used but the requirement is sign language. In inclusive set-ups, teachers are given only a few days training which is not enough.
  4. Point 5 acknowledges the special needs of deaf and blind but only says that education of the persons who are blind or deaf or both should be imparted in the most appropriate language and modes and means of communication. Here there is only a reference to the specific needs but there is no clarity about those specific needs and it does not mention the need for use of sign language or special schooling if needed.
  5. Clause 16 (g) mentions assistive devices but hearing aids are not very useful in a noisy environment. There is no mention of instructional material in ISL or support services in the form of interpreters.
  6. Section 17 is about adult education, however we need to talk about secondary, tertiary and pri primary education. There needs to be clarity in the provisions and choices.
  7. Chapter 4 on skill development and chapter 5 on social security and health also, there needs to be specific mention of interpreters. The Americans with Disabilities Act has a separate chapter on telecommunication services for the deaf. The Individual Disabilities Education Act in US also mentions TTY services.
  8. The Right to Education Act 2009 also focusses on the age group 6-14 years and ignores the crucial early years from 0-6 years and higher education which are very important.
  9. In chapter 8 on duties of the government, points 39, 40 and 41 also need to mention sign language’s benefit for the deaf. Point 46 on human resource development should add interpreters.
  10. Chapter 2 on ethics is good and important as deaf themselves can become members of ethics committee to safeguard research ethics while working with deaf communities or sign language. Currently, research grants are given to hearing researchers and there is little involvement of the deaf, and they are not aware of the research taking place.

Mrs. Renuka Rameshan – “Clauses in the RPWD bill 2014”

Section 37 on education in RPWD 2011 talks about inclusive education. The section implies that teachers would be trained in ISL and that there would also be professional interpreters for educational purposes available in the classroom. The clauses talking about education to blind and deaf children in the most appropriate means of communication for them should specify braille and sign language. Another addition could be to make necessary adjustments such as IEPs (Individualized Education Program) as mentioned in the Americans with Disabilities Act 1990.

There need to be measures to ensure that the clauses are implemented and programs to teach and train teachers of deaf should be in place and they should be effective. There also needs to be an emphasis on interpreter training, license for interpreters, and a revised syllabus/course in the sign language interpreting course.

Mr.Sujit Sahasrabudhe “Understanding the diversity of hearing loss and how it applies to employment”

In India, the possibility of employment is linked to hearing loss levels. The terms used in India – Hearing Impaired and Hearing Handicapped – are not used internationally now since they focus on the loss. The term “Hearing disabled” is used internationally. Hearing impairment (HI) and speech impairment (SI) are different and not related to each other. SI is not related to hearing loss.

Comparing the PwD 1995 and the various versions of the RPWD with regard to definitions and reservations for jobs. The definitions in the 2011 version were simple and clear. The 2012 version added a new category of speech and language disability. For reservations for jobs, there is 1% reservation for HI and SI in the 2013 version. Here the meaning of “and” is not clear. In the 1995 act, the term was just HI which was clear but the RPWD versions’ terms are complex and confusing.

Sujit asked the gathering the following –

  • Do you want that there should be a division between HI and HOH? If yes, why?
  • Are the terms HI and deaf same or different?
  • We need to identify jobs that are suitable for deaf and HOH.

Sujit ended his session by stating we need to accept the diversity of hearing loss and call all deaf.

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Location: USI, New Delhi    Activities: Meeting
National Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities

National Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (NCRPD) meeting was held in Delhi on 12-13 April, 2014. Nearly 25 leaders and experts from across disability and across the country participated in this very important meeting. NCRPD was formed in 2008 and has in the past, led advocacy initiatives vis-a-vis disability issues. In fact, the idea of a new law on disability came from a meeting of NCRPD (something that many opposed & ridiculed at that point). Day 1 of the meeting discussed important issues such as the way forward on ALL disability legislations; presentation form the Gujarat National Disability Network (NDN) partner; a presentation on rights of persons affected by leprosy and work done my Disabled Rights Group (DRG) and NDN in inclusion of disability in the formulation of the 12th Five Year Plan

Anuj Jain, Joint Secretary and Vishal Arora, Treasurer of the National Association of the Deaf (NAD) at the National Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (NCRPD) meeting in New Delhi, India

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Location: Thapar University, Patiala, Punjab    Activities: Workshop
State Deaf Workshop on UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities

We organized the third kind of State Deaf Workshop on UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNCRPD) between 15th & 16th March, 2014 at Auditorium, Thapar University, Patiala, Punjab between 9:30 am to 5:00 pm. There were about 90 deaf delegates from all over Patiala, Punjab attended the workshop for two days. Mr. Anuj Jain, Joint Secretary of NAD, and Mr. Vishal Arora, Treasurer of NAD shared the different PowerPoint Presentations about the Human Rights on Video, the human rights/laws, & UNCRPD.

It was necessary to have awareness on UNCRPD to help deaf people understand and know the laws and rights of the deaf. It helps to empower them to do themselves by their own decision in their lives in India.

A milestone for the advocacy of the rights of persons with disabilities is now steadily gaining worldwide acceptance and support. This is known as the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. The Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) refers to a document focusing on international human rights of people with disabilities. It was created by the United Nations and is being monitored by the Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.

The Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities was adopted by the United Nations General Assembly on December 13, 2006. The Convention was opened for signature on March 30, 2007. It then came into force on May 3, 2008, after the Convention’s ratification by the 20th party. There are a total of 71 countries that have ratified the convention. Some of the countries that have ratified the Convention include Australia, Belgium, China, India, Saudi Arabia, Thailand, and United Kingdom and Northern Ireland. The UN.org website has a section where interested groups and individuals can read the latest developments regarding the convention.

The Convention intends to ensure equal rights to people with disabilities. This is done by elaborating in detail the rights of persons with disabilities and setting out a code of implementation.

Guiding Principles of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities:-

Eight principles form the base for the Convention and the articles included in it. Below are the guiding principles:

  • Respect for inherent dignity, individual autonomy including the freedom to make one's own choices, and independence of persons
  • Non-discrimination
  • Full and effective participation and inclusion in society
  • Respect for difference and acceptance of persons with disabilities as part of human diversity and humanity
  • Equality of opportunity
  • Accessibility
  • Equality between men and women
  • Respect for the evolving capacities of children with disabilities and respect for the right of children with disabilities to preserve their identities

India ratified UNCRPD on the 1st of October, 2007. India was the 7th country in the world and the first significant country to do so. The ratification of UNCRPD was a direct result of the advocacy by NCPEDP and Disabled Rights Group (DRG).

UNCRPD is an international instrument that provides persons with disabilities the same human rights that everyone else enjoys. It marks a radical shift in defining and understanding disability - it moves from a medical/social perspective to a human-rights based approach.

However, UNCRPD is just a paper if it is not implemented. Disabled people have to play an active role in the implementation and monitoring of UNCRPD.

For each change to make the lives of more than 18 million deaf Indians better, we need to understand this international treaty on which the new disability bill is based on.

650 million people, roughly 10 per cent of the world's population, live with a disability, according to the United Nations. In India alone, there are roughly 100 million people with disabilities, which is almost 1/6th of population of disabled people in the world.

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Location: Vijay Chowk, New Delhi    Activities: Dharna
Dharna for Rights of Persons with Disabilities Bill 2013

Hundreds of persons with disabilities once again sat on a Parliament Watch in front of the Congress & BJP offices. This Watch was organised by Lok Sansad, a coalition of people's movements demanding passage of consensus Bills. This includes the Disabilities Bill.

Later, more than 1000 people, including people on wheelchairs and families of whistleblowers who had been killed, marched to Parliament to demand that Parliament function and pass the Grievance Redress Bill, Whistle Blowers Protection Bill, Disability Rights Bill and SC/ST [PoA] Amendment Bill. The protestors were detained outside the Constitution Club. They demonstrated for more than 4 hours.

Rahul Gandhi, Vice President of Congress came to the protestors at Vijay Chowk late evening. He listened to each of all groups who spoke about the problems of bills are not passed yet in the parliament. Mr. Rahul Gandhi said that he will approach the President for the ordinance pass for the bills.

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Location: Hotel Amsun Pride, Amrik Singh Road, Bathinda (Punjab)    Activities: Workshop
State Deaf Workshop on UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities

We organized the first kind of the State Deaf Workshop on UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNCRPD) between 17th & 18th February, 2014 at Hotel Amsun Pride, Amrik Singh Road, Bathinda (Punjab) between 9:30 am to 5:00 pm. There were about 75 deaf delegates from all over Bathinda, Punjab attended the workshop for two days. Mr. Vishal Arora, Treasurer of NAD, and Mr. Ram Singh, Co-Worker of NAD shared the different PowerPoint Presentations about the Human Rights on Video, the human rights/laws, & UNCRPD.

It was necessary to have awareness on UNCRPD to help deaf people understand and know the laws and rights of the deaf. It helps to empower them to do themselves by their own decision in their lives in India.

A milestone for the advocacy of the rights of persons with disabilities is now steadily gaining worldwide acceptance and support. This is known as the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. The Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) refers to a document focusing on international human rights of people with disabilities. It was created by the United Nations and is being monitored by the Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.

The Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities was adopted by the United Nations General Assembly on December 13, 2006. The Convention was opened for signature on March 30, 2007. It then came into force on May 3, 2008, after the Convention's ratification by the 20th party. There are a total of 71 countries that have ratified the convention. Some of the countries that have ratified the Convention include Australia, Belgium, China, India, Saudi Arabia, Thailand, and United Kingdom and Northern Ireland. The UN.org website has a section where interested groups and individuals can read the latest developments regarding the convention.

The Convention intends to ensure equal rights to people with disabilities. This is done by elaborating in detail the rights of persons with disabilities and setting out a code of implementation.

Guiding Principles of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities:-

Eight principles form the base for the Convention and the articles included in it. Below are the guiding principles:

  • Respect for inherent dignity, individual autonomy including the freedom to make one's own choices, and independence of persons
  • Non-discrimination
  • Full and effective participation and inclusion in society
  • Respect for difference and acceptance of persons with disabilities as part of human diversity and humanity
  • Equality of opportunity
  • Accessibility
  • Equality between men and women
  • Respect for the evolving capacities of children with disabilities and respect for the right of children with disabilities to preserve their identities

India ratified UNCRPD on the 1st of October, 2007. India was the 7th country in the world and the first significant country to do so. The ratification of UNCRPD was a direct result of the advocacy by NCPEDP and Disabled Rights Group (DRG).

UNCRPD is an international instrument that provides persons with disabilities the same human rights that everyone else enjoys. It marks a radical shift in defining and understanding disability - it moves from a medical/social perspective to a human-rights based approach.

However, UNCRPD is just a paper if it is not implemented. Disabled people have to play an active role in the implementation and monitoring of UNCRPD.

For each change to make the lives of more than 18 million deaf Indians better, we need to understand this international treaty on which the new disability bill is based on.

650 million people, roughly 10 per cent of the world's population, live with a disability, according to the United Nations. In India alone, there are roughly 100 million people with disabilities, which is almost 1/6th of population of disabled people in the world.

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