Disability rights in Jammu & Kashmir - My Take
The situation in Jammu & Kashmir is different from the rest of India because of Article 370. Therefore, the laws passed in India do not directly apply here. The Indian Disability Act was passed in 1995 but it took three years longer for it to be passed in the state assembly here, and two more years for rules to be formed.
In J&K, people with disabilities are asked to compete with open merit candidates. But schools here are not accessible for PwD. There are no special educators and nor is accessible teaching material available.
There is no school that meets the specific needs of children with hearing and vision impairments, learning disability etc. Students with disabilities are not given extra time during exams and are expected to complete like all students.
Really exceptional students make it but many get left out so there is a need to consider reducing the percentage cut off.
There is also a need to look at economically empowering educated persons with disabilities. We have well qualified candidates with disabilities in our state that don't get an opportunity because recruiting agencies have set up many barriers.
Rules set under the J&K Disability Act, 1998, are not being followed. There is a need for these agencies to be held accountable.
Like other states, reservation in all professional courses for eligible persons with disabilities should be introduced.
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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