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Volume 6 Issue 5August 15, 2009
- What went wrong with the Right to Education Bill?
That is the question that everyone is asking. The Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education Bill was passed by the Lok Sabha on August 4. The disability sector was up in arms against the Bill as it left out 20 million disabled children. The H.R.D. Ministry cried foul and finally Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh and Sonia Gandhi intervened to assure the sector. Dorodi Sharma of D.N.I.S. looks back at the protests and why the sector took months to react.
- “Our only motivation was to stop Kapil Sibal from committing a horrible wrong,” Javed Abidi
He is a name that has become synonymous with persistent face offs with the Government. Vociferous in his criticism of piecemeal efforts and lack of sensitivity, he has been at the receiving end of many a digs. The recent Right to Education Bill was one such incident. In a candid interview, Javed Abidi talks to Dorodi Sharma of D.N.I.S. on his take on the protest, how he feels to be the ‘fall guy’ and the ‘motivation’ that drives him to do what he does!
- P.M. directs H.R.D. Ministry to include all disabilities in Right to Education Act
D.N.I.S. News Network: The Right to Education Bill that was passed by the Lok Sabha on August 4 faced tremendous opposition from the disability sector for not including all disabilities in its definition. But the Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh has written to the Ministry of Human Resource Development (H.R.D.) to ensure that all children with disabilities are covered by this legislation.
- I.T. Ministry to discuss draft National Policy on Electronic Accessibility
D.N.I.S. News Network: The Ministry of Information Technology (I.T.) has convened a meeting on August 17 of all stakeholders to discuss the draft National Policy on Electronic Accessibility.
- Draft National Health Bill 2009 open for public comments
D.N.I.S. News Network: The Ministry of Health and Family Welfare has come out with the draft National Health Bill 2009. This Bill aims to provide health, health equity and justice to all citizens of the country. It seeks to legalise the right to health care of every citizen along with other issues associated with health rights like access to good treatment, emergency care, etc.
- D.R.G. forms an Amendments Committee to review proposed amendments to Disability Act
D.N.I.S. News Network: Disabled Rights Group (D.R.G.) has formed an Amendments Committee to review the proposed amendments to the Disability Act, 1995.
- C.D.P.F. registered in New Delhi
D.N.I.S. News Network: The office of the Secretariat of Commonwealth Disabled People’s Forum (C.D.P.F.) has been registered in India. Javed Abidi, Secretary, C.D.P.F. said that the website will soon be put up and membership forms made available online. This is an important development in the backdrop of the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (C.H.O.G.M.) to be held in Trinidad and Tobago in November this year.
- Hotels to become disabled friendly
D.N.I.S. News Network: Ministry of Tourism has come out with new guidelines for classification of hotels which also include making all hotels disabled friendly by September, 2010. This not only includes 4 and 5 star hotels which were already accessible to an extent, but also 1, 2 and 3 star hotels.
- I.C.T. to enable inclusive education in schools
D.N.I.S. News Network: The Ministry of Human Resource Development has come up with a draft National Policy on Information and Communication Technology in Education which also includes needs of children with disability.
- States yet to implement preferential land allotment for disabled people
D.N.I.S. News Network: It has been 13 year since the Disability Act came into force. But Section 43 which provides preferential land allotment at concessional rates to people with disabilities is yet to be implemented by most States.
- Court rooms to become accessible in Punjab and Haryana High Court
D.N.I.S. News Network: It took four long years and a contempt of court case, but finally the Punjab and Haryana High Court in Chandigarh will have ramps by October 2009 to ensure that disabled litigants also get to hear the proceedings of the Court. The second wing of the court building, where majority of judges have their courts, is not accessible at present as there is no provision of lifts or a ramp.
- Goa government offers V.R.S. for parents of children with disabilities
D.N.I.S. News Network: The Goa government has come out with a special Voluntary Retirement Scheme for employees who have children with disabilities. This was announced by Chief Minister, Digambar Kamat while presenting the Additional Budget for the current year.
- Government urges car makers to manufacture disabled friendly vehicles
D.N.I.S. News Network: The Minister of State for Heavy Industries, Arun Yadav, has said that the government has been advising car makers to consider manufacturing at least one or two models of their cars suitable to be driven by physically disabled persons. The Government of India is also providing excise duty concession on vehicles meant for physically disabled people.
- N.C.P.E.D.P to form Zonal Committees
D.N.I.S. News Network: N.C.P.E.D.P. in collaboration with the British High Commission is setting up 4 Zonal Committees under its project ‘Mainstreaming of Disability in the National Agenda - Policy to Practice.’ These Committees would focus on disseminating information within the disability sector at the Zonal level and work towards bringing about policy initiatives in line with U.N.C.R.P.D. and the XIth Five Year Plan. The Committees would act as watchdogs and ensure that their work gains visibility.