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Volume 3 Issue 16August 15, 2005
- Barrier-free Access for all: A step to freedom
Delhi, the capital city of India, is undergoing a facelift. The Municipal Corporation of Delhi (M.C.D.) had recently promised that the Capital will have new Building Bye-laws in place by January 2006 that would be simple and user-friendly. Adding weight to this is the fact that there will be a panel of architects and designers to approve the building plans. The M.C.D. Commissioner Rakesh Mehta unveiled the draft copy of the new Byelaws at a workshop in Delhi and announced that once the final draft is ready, public objections will be invited. Unfortunately, disability finds no mention whatsoever in such an important law where even redevelopment of areas is being considered. Again, the Delhi Government has come up with a draft Master Plan with the grand ‘vision’ of transforming the Capital into a world-class city by 2021. But the Plan that is far from perfect has come in for heavy criticism from all quarters, including the disability sector, for its lack of vision. Chitra S. Shankar examines the issue on the eve of India’s Independence Day.
- Make one colony totally accessible as a beginning to make Delhi a model of access: P.R. Mehta
"Urban Planners and Managers must recognise that public spaces are not just for workers, meaning the production force. They should adopt the concept of citizenship as an all-embracing category of all people who live and move in these spaces. It is this outlook that will guide them in creating structures that are not restrictive but truly universal,” says P.R. Mehta, Former President, Council of Architecture and an avid supporter of a barrier-free world, in conversation with Parvinder Singh.
- N.C.P.E.D.P Launches National Campaign for Barrier-Free India
As India celebrates its 58th year of Independence, an estimated six crore citizens with disabilities are still fighting for the right to exercise their “freedom” by the way of access. To mark the launch, Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit unveiled Logo and the Blueprint.
- Confederation of Indian Industry to soon unveil its Disability Policy
The Confederation of Indian Industry (C.I.I.)¸ India’s premier business association with a direct membership of over 5,300 companies, will soon come out with a Disability Policy for its member companies to generate awareness and suggest an approach on disability, including employment opportunities.
- H.C. seeks report from D.U. on steps taken to make structures accessible
There is good news for the disability sector in their ongoing struggle to make colleges and universities accessible. In an Interim Order, the Delhi High Court has sought detailed reports from the Delhi University and Government of India on steps that have been taken to make its structures accessible. Notices were also issued to Jamia Millia Islamia and Guru Govind Singh Indraprastha Universities seeking a report on the matter.
- Public Sector Bank employees with disability cannot be transferred: H.C.
In a significant move, the Delhi High Court has issued a directive exempting public sector bank employees with at least 40 per cent disability from routine transfers and has added even in most special cases the transfer should be in or around the employee’s hometown.
- G.A.I.L. C.M.D. threatens D.R.G. with criminal action
The struggle for justice for four disabled employees sacked by Gas Authority of India Limited (G.A.IL.) has taken a new twist with its Chairman and Managing Director (C.M.D.) Prashanto Banerjee resorting to pressure tactics by serving a legal notice to Disabled Rights Group (D.R.G.) for alleged defamation.
- A.P. Court rejects bar set by M.C.I. for admission to M.B.B.S. under disability quota
In a landmark judgement, the Andhra Pradesh High Court has directed N.T.R. University of Health Sciences, Vijayawada, to accept applicants with 40% disability for allotments of seats for M.B.B.S. courses in accordance with provisions of Persons with Disability Act, 1995.
- India ‘least inclusive’ among Asian nations: Disability survey
Despite a very impressive record in framing legal protections for people with disabilities, Asian countries lack in educational and employment opportunities for them, says ‘ International Disability Rights Monitor Regional Report’, published by International Disability Network.
- Despite immunisation drives, Rajasthan and other States report fresh polio cases
Fresh polio cases have been reported in the past few months even in areas, and among children, that have undergone immunisation during government-run eradication drives - the latest one being from the State of Rajasthan.
- British media accuses Teresa’s nuns of tying up children with mental disabilities
Kolkata-based Missionaries of Charity (M.o.C.), the order founded by Nobel Laureate Mother Teresa in 1950, has been accused of using physical restraints on children with mental disabilities in a centre being run by it, according to a British television documentary.
- Visit by American disability activist highlights inefficacy in implementation of India’s disability
As India approaches a decade of People with Disabilities Act, America recently celebrated 15-years of its own disability law. But a special visitor from the U.S. made this event more than a mere time reference by highlighting the difference between the two in terms of implementation of the two Acts.
- Third Regional Consultative Meeting at Kolkata to forge roadmap for Inclusive Education
The third regional consultative meeting, for the East and North East Zone was held in Kolkata on 30 July, to forge a roadmap to implement the ‘Comprehensive Plan of Action on Inclusive Education for Children and Youth with Disabilities.’
- North-East and East Zone Partners’ Meet held in Kolkata
National Centre for Promotion of Employment for Disabled People (N.C.P.E.D.P.) organised the North-East and East Zone National Disability Network Partners’ Meet in Kolkata on 29 and 31 July 2005, respectively.