Why the RPWD Bill matters to people with disabilities
Persons with Disabilities were not counted as humans but treated as a component of charity. No disabled person was able to ask for rights in the country.
In 1995, the Disability Act came into existence and persons with disabilities used the Act as a tool to get rights. Earlier employment was a dream but now persons with 100% blindness are working in the cadre of IAS officers.
Not only the reservation in education, even the counting of persons with disabilities in a separate column, the Accessibility India campaign and many other programmes for the empowerment of disabled persons are the outcome of the Disability Act in India.
Reviewing and updating the Act is very important. We need the new Act to ask for facilities like countrywide accessibility to information, access to all reading material present in the country.
It is not only the Ministry of Social Justice & Empowerment to which a disabled person can approach. There are stakeholders in all departments like health, finance, urban development, education, public works and law. These rights can only be strengthened and obtained sought with the new Disability Act.
Thus, the new Act needs to be passed on priority so that persons with disabilities will get a strong tool to fight for their rights and seek all types of facilities to live an independent life in an inclusive society.
About the Writer
Javed Ahmad Tak is the honorary chairman of the NGO Humanity Welfare Organization HELPLine in Jammu and Kashmir. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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