Potential of RPWD 2016 Act as game changer diluted by poor implementation
The RPWD Act 2016 is meant to be a game changer for disabled people in India. The provisions of the Act have the potential to substantially improve the lives of people with disabilities. However, the reality is that much of this impact is not being felt due to poor implementation. Many people with disabilities are still waiting to get the benefits of jobs and admissions as prescribed by the Act.
Take the case of 35-year-old Nirmal Rajarora, a visually impaired woman based in New Delhi. Rajarora has been struggling to get a job for the past many years.
The RPWD 2016 Act provides for 4% reservation for disabled people in public and private sector jobs. The reality is that most disabled candidates are rejected when they apply for jobs. Which explains why the average employment rate among disabled people is a poor 0.28% in the private sector and 0.54% in the public sector./p>
Rajarora has highlighted this apathy. She has asked authorities why she was not being allowed to write a post office selection exam, even though her initial application was accepted.
She says that disabled people are rejected when they apply for jobs for some reason or the other. This is sheer injustice as equal opportunity in education and jobs are a must to live a better life.
Rajarora runs a welfare association for the blind in Delhi called Deep Welfare Association. It runs out of a small shed with the help of a few donations. Here, seven to eight visually impaired students come together and study.
The discrimination on the jobs front is also due to the lack of awareness about the RPWD 2016 Act. Many companies are not even aware that there is a job reservation for disabled people.