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Massive protest march in West Bengal to raise demands of people with disabilities

December 2, 2018

Paschim Banga Rajya Pratibandhi Sammilani-PBRPS represents more than 1 lakh disabled people in Bengal. It is the largest organization in the state that has been working to empower and unite the people with disabilities.

On the occasion of International Day for the Persons with Disabilities on 3 December, PBRPS is organizing a massive protest march with the call of "Kolkata Chalo".

"We had been celebrating 3rd December since the time this day was declared International Disability Day ... over the years, how we observe this day, specifically meant for us, changed - We are aware that UN declares a theme every year but we adopt demands according to local needs." - says Sailen Chowdhury, President of PBRPS

The Kolkata Chalo protest is inviting disabled people from all part of the state to come together at Rani Rashmoni Road, a place known as centre of Kolkata's protests.

The main demand raised by the PBRPS is the implementation of the provisions of Rights of Persons with Disabilities (RPWD) Act. The organization is demanding that the act should be practically implemented in the state of West Bengal so that disabled people can live with dignity and equal opportunities.

Around 10,000 people are expected to be marching on 3 December towards the office of the Disability Commissioner.

The leaders of the PBRPS will submit a Deputation regarding the demands to the Disability commissioner.

We will wait for 3 months after giving our deputation. If our demands are not met by March, we will organise stronger protest march and even go on for hunger strike if required. But we will see that RPD Act 2016 is implemented properly in our state. Said Kanti Ganguly, General Secretary, PBRPS

Some of the demands that the PBRPS is raising are as follows.

  1. Statewide implementation of RPWD Act, 2016.

  2. Faster issuance of disabled certificates to people with disabilities.

  3. The state is lagging behind in the issuance of UDID or the Swabalamban cards. This needs to be looked into and resolved.

  4. Speedy allocation of benefits to disabled people under the various schemes.

  5. In view of increase in the sexual assaults on disabled women, strict action is needed.

  6. The increase in reservation in education and employment for people with disabilities should be implemented.

  7. Changes to Manabik Pension Scheme to accommodate people with 40% disabilities.

The march will be attended by people with disabilities, caretakers, volunteers and activists. PBRPS is hoping to get all these people together to bring about the much needed change in the government policy and machinery in the state.

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