#PowerOfOne – Delhi Disabilities Commissioner T D Dhariyal believes in tough action, not just words
Our December campaign is on government officials working actively to enable the disabled community. We start with T D Dhariyal, Commissioner for Persons with Disabilities, Delhi.
Sensitive, Empathetic, Accessible. Words everyone uses for T D Dhariyal.
Mr. Dhariyal became Commissioner for Persons with Disabilities, Delhi in March 2017 soon after the RPWD Act was introduced.
I saw a chance to help people with disabilities by offering a range of services. This could be providing a needy person with a tricycle to enabling someone to join the IAS. All this is difficult when there are no proper systems. You also need courage to pass orders directing high-level government officials. – T D Dhariyal, Commissioner for Persons with Disabilities, Delhi
Courage that Mr. Dhariyal has shown in plenty. He is also persistent. “I go and see what is happening on the ground, carry out spot checks and interact with affected people”.
Change-maker in every sense
The changes Mr Dhariyal has been able to bring about are broad. They cover aspects like education, employment, accessibility and medical care. “He takes cognisance of issues that concerned government ministries don’t bother about”, points out disability rights advocate Dr Satendra Singh. “He also recommended sensitisation training for legislators. All these steps are brave and bold”.
“A Man Who Listens”
Dr Dhariyal is out to make a systemic change. This is clear from an order he passed a few months ago asking for ministries to frame comprehensive immigration guidelines for all disabled people. This was while he was hearing the petition of a blind youth who was cheated by immigration agencies. This was also evident when he invited all stakeholders to collaborate in framing the Delhi Rights of Persons with Disabilities Rule 2018. “That’s why the Delhi Rules are more forward thinking compared to other states”, says Dr Singh.
Dr Shanti Auluk, Chairperson of NGO Muskaan says Dr Dhariyal is “seized with the challenges of disabled people”. “He identifies with our struggles and is never indifferent. Many officials talk and don’t act. He is the exception”.
“He is always positive and willing to resolve matters with us”, adds Meenu Arora Mani, Founder, NGO Yes We Can. “He is sensitive and understands us”.
Mr Dhariyal’s tenure is due to end soon. Dr Singh is among those petitioning for his term to be extended. “We have found someone who listens to us”.