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Volume 3 Issue 15August 01, 2005
- Disablility Sector flays Draft National Policy for flouting international conventions
It took ten years after the promulgation of The Disability Act 1995, for the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment to formulate the draft National Policy for Persons with Disabilities. However, the gaping loopholes in the National Policy and the slipshod manner in which it was brought out has shocked and disappointed the entire disability sector. National Centre for Promotion of Employment for Disabled People (N.C.P.E.D.P.) had analysed the so-called draft Policy and found it to be a watered down version of existing legislation. Further the Policy document is in complete violation of Biwako Millennium Framework, which mandates that any policy affecting people with disabilities in Asia and the Pacific Region should be drafted in consultation with the key stakeholders. It is enmeshed in charity and welfare mode and provides little voice to people with disabilities for whom the policy is framed. The whole process upset the disability sector so much that N.C.P.E.D.P. had even organised a Press Conference, also inviting other leaders in the sector, to highlight the issue in the media.
- C.A.B.E. meeting offers great hopes for Inclusive Education for children and youth with disabilities
The nation is poised at a historic threshold that could, in the coming years, usher in equity and participation for millions of youth and children suffering from a range of disabilities, as their participation in the mainstream education in the past five decades of independence has been near zero, with only two percent of children with disabilities getting any kind of schooling. This hope has been kindled by promising hints in various reports presented at the Central Advisory Board of Education (C.A.B.E.) meeting held in the Capital from 14-15 July 2005. Parvinder Singh reviews highlights of these reports from the point of the disability sector and interventions made by Javed Abidi, Executive Director, National Centre for Promotion of Employment for Disabled People (N.C.P.E.D.P.), who was nominated to the C.A.B.E. Committee by Human Resource Development Minister Arjun Singh.
- Disability leadership strongly criticises Draft National Policy
The Draft National Policy for Persons with Disabilities is not only a diluted version of the existing legislations, but it has also been drafted without consultation with stakeholders. N.C.P.E.D.P. had circulated a questionnaire to prominent activists representing different disabilities and regions, for their views regarding the process, and the draft itself. The following is a cross-section of views.
- Involve disability expert in planning, design, implementation of Delhi Master Plan: Sheila Dikshit
In a boost to the disability sector’s demand to make access an integral part of the Delhi Master Plan, Delhi’s Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit has supported the idea of taking on board an expert on disability access for planning, design and implementation of the Master Plan.
- Order issued by Andhra Government to include person with Dwarfism as Orthopaedic Disability
A protracted battle by people with Dwarfism in Andhra Pradesh has finally yielded a positive result with the State Government agreeing to their demand and notifying them in the category of “orthopaedically handicapped” thus allowing them to seek benefits under The Disability Act 1995.
- War disabled pensioners to get free medical care
In a decision that will directly benefit 6,000 war-disabled pensioners, the Union Cabinet has given the go ahead to a proposal to exempt them from mandatory contributions to receive medical care under Ex-servicemen Contributory Health Scheme (E.C.H.S.).
- Shocker for Disability Sector, “Handicapped University” comes up in U.P. with State’s blessing
In a bolt from the blue for the disability sector’s fight for an Inclusive Education system in the country, a so-called "exclusive” University has been set up for people with disabilities and to top it all has been named "Handicapped University”.
- National Disaster Management Authority constituted under Chairmanship of Prime Minister
A five-member National Disaster Management Authority (N.D.M.A.) has been constituted by Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh to lay down policies and plans for disaster management.
- Northern Railway announces plan to make 40 stations accessible
In an important move, the Indian Railways has announced a plan to make platforms and facilities under the Northern Railway friendly to disabled and senior citizens.
- Final Draft for M.C.D. Building Byelaws to be made public for inviting suggestions
Municipal Council of Delhi’s (M.C.D.) proposed Building Byelaws will go into an extra-time - following a rather brief period notice for inviting suggestions on it a month ago – for an assessment and review by the public over a period of two months, according to Municipal Commissioner Rakesh Mehta.
- S.C. issues notice to Union, State Governments on safety, access for visually impaired
The Supreme Court has issued notice to the Union Government, States and others to take measures for safety and accessibility to roads, public transport and ensure related facilities for people with visual impairments.
- Delhi Gurudwaras go disabled-friendly
Prominent Gurudwaras in Delhi have been made accessible to people with disabilities and senior citizens in the past few months with ramps and lifts being added to facilitate barrier-free environment in these Sikh religious places.
- Terrorists in Jammu and Kashmir using people with learning disabilities for planting explosives
Reports of the terrorist blood-bath in Kashmir incapacitating people and causing severe mental and physical disabilities have become routine, but in a shocking revelation the State’s police has claimed that the terrorists have started using people with learning disabilities to plant explosives.
- Mental disabilities still attributed to curse or evil spell in Nagaland: Survey
Mental disability is seen as being caused by a curse or an evil spell by a substantial section of people in the north-eastern State of Nagaland, according to an Action Aid funded study made public at a recent function in the State capital Kohima.
- Bombay High Court drubs Goa Government over non-implementation of Disability Act
Taking a grim note of the non-implementation of the decade-old Persons with Disabilities (Equal Opportunities Protection of Rights and Full Participation Act 1995), the Panjim Bench of Bombay High Court has come down heavily on the Goa Government.