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National Platform for the Rights of the Disabled to launch nationwide campaign for RPWD Act implementation

In December 2016 Rights of Persons with Disabilities Act, a landmark law came into being. The law is for the protection, welfare and development of the disabled population in India. However, due to slow implementation and lack of efficient execution of the guidelines, the RPWD Act is yet to bring benefits to disabled people in the country. National Platform for the Rights of the Disabled (NPRD) is organizing a nationwide campaign that aims to speed up the implementation process by putting pressure on the government.

National Platform for the Rights of the Disabled (NPRD) is national level organization that has been working to create awareness about the rights of people with disabilities. The organization has been actively vocal about how the delay in the implementation of the Rights of Persons with Disabilities Act is hampering the growth and development of people with disabilities.

NPRD is launching a countrywide campaign in November 2019 to raise demand for faster action on the RPWD ACT. As part of the campaign a huge gathering will be held at Jantar Mantar in New Delhi on 25 November, coinciding with the Winter Session of parliament.

On this day, thousands of people with and without disabilities will sit on a 24-hour long dharna at Jantar Mantar. The aim of the initiative to get the attention of law makers and push them into taking appropriate action.

As per a statement from Murali Dharan Vishwanath, General Secretary, NPRD, "Various provisions of the Act are nowhere from being implemented. Its provisions are being violated. Adequate budgetary provisions are not being earmarked for implementation of the Act. The Act views disability from a rights-based framework. It has equality and non-discrimination as its guiding principles. It treats disabled as human beings who need equal opportunities and not as recipients of charity. But three years down the line, only 18 states have framed rules for the implementation of the Act. Both the central and state rules do not contain rules for implementation of various provisions of the Act."

NPRD understands the importance of the RPWD Act and how it can be a game changer for millions of disabled people that are waiting for years to get their rights and be treated with dignity and equality. NPRD has raised a lot of questions and made suggestions about the provisions of the RPWD ACT ever since the law was made.

When Government of India passed RPD Act, disabled people of our country were very happy. They anticipated that there will be substantial change in their lives. However Government both at national as well as state levels showing inordinate delay in implementing this law. There's hardly any budget allocated after Mental Health Care Act has been passed. As a result, disabled people are extremely agitated and want to bring these issues to GOI's notice. Thousands of them under umbrella of NPRD will participate in a 24 hour dharna in Delhi at the beginning of winter session of the Parliament. Our demands are manifold focussing on implementation of current laws. Kolkata-based disability rights activist Shampa Sengupta.

Some of the main demands of NPRD regarding the implementation of the provisions of the RPwD Act are:

  1. Speed up Certification and issuance of UDID to all disabled.

  2. Ensure all disabled children get education; implement reservation and other provisions as per the Act.

  3. Extend reservations in employment to private sector; implement 4% reservation as mandated by the Act; give reservations in promotions.

  4. Enhance pension to Rs. 3000 for those upto 80%; and Rs. 5000 to those with higher than 80%.

  5. Provide free and accessible health care for all disabled irrespective of BPL/APL. All insurance schemes to be open to disabled.

  6. Strictly implement accessibility provisions mandated in the RPD Act.

  7. Railways to be made completely accessible. Coaches for Disabled to be provided in all trains. Railways should accept UDIDs and should not proceed with separate IDs.

  8. Repeal discriminatory provision Sec. 3(3) of the RPD Act. Amend Constitution to prohibit discrimination.

  9. Ensure justice to survivors of sexual assaults. Make provisions for women with disabilities as mandated by the RPD Act.

  10. Nominate disabled members to all urban and rural local bodies.

  11. Provide adequate budgetary allocations for implementation of RPD & Mental Healthcare Acts.

  12. No to the usage of term Divyang for people with disabilities.

    The day long dharna in Delhi will see activists, disabled people, NGOs and other people coming out to raise their voice for India's disabled population. It is hoped that the central and state governments will take heed and bring about a much needed change that will impact millions.

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