PARIVAAR BENGAL mobilises support against move to quash National Trust Act 2020
PARVAAR BENGAL, a leading NGO from the state, has slammed the move to da away with the National Trust Act 1999. At a press conference on Sunday, it expressed its formal opposition to the Centre’s move and urged people to rally together to ensure the move was blocked.
Members of PARIVAAR BENGAL, THE state federation of PARIVAAR National Confederation of Parents Organisation, has issued a strong statement objecting to the Centre’s reported move to scarp the National Trust Act (NTA) 1999.
The national federation represents over 300 parents associations working for People with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (PwIDDs) all over India. They have come together to express their serious concern over the reported circular of the Department of Expenditure, Finance Ministry, Governmrnt of India, to turn NTA into a department under the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment. This will be possible only by repealing the NTA.
Move proposed as part of austerity drive
The move follows the advice of the Niti Aayog to do away with more than 100 such legislations as part of a series of austerity measures.
In a press release the organisation said:
It is a well-known fact that the persons with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (PWIDDs) including Autism, Cerebral Palsy, Mental retardation and Multiple Disabilities are one of the most marginalised and neglected sections of the Society and are being deprived from enjoying the equal rights and privileges like any other citizen of our country. Thus if the Government of India goes ahead with the proposal then it will have devastating effect on such Persons and their families, as this is the only service act for PwIDDs for providing services through various schemes. – Soumen Upadhyay, General Secretary, PARIVAAR BENGAL
The NTA protects the rights of the most marginalised groups in India, including PWIDDs. It caters to their specific needs and provides the necessary measures for their welfare and rehabilitation.
“The specific requirements and schemes required for PwIDDs those are not covered in any other Act or schemes of the government”, say PARIVAAR members. This includes schemes like Niramaya, the only health insurance scheme for PwIDDs, legal guardianship’ to take care of their rights and properties, Gharaunda, for their lifelong residential care to name a few.
It also lays down the formation of Local Level Committees (LLC) in every district to award guardianship.
NTA protects severely marginalised
“Because of lower cognitive abilities and issues with sensory integration most adult PwIDDs require life-long & perpetual support from guardian for decision-making and to exercise legal rights as guaranteed in Constitution and the RPWD Act”, says Iona Kundu, Technical Advisor, PPARIVAAR.
In December 2019 the MSJE had initiated a process to amend The NTA by adopting a rights-based approach instead of the aelfare model that the Act originally envisaged and followed when it was enacted in 1999. Organisations are demanding that this process should continue so to enable PwIDDs to lead an inclusive and dignified life with opportunities for employment even when the parents are no more.
About 4% of the total population in India belong to the PWIDD category. Scrapping the NTA will deprive them of essential services.
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