News

Volume 7 Issue 10 - May 15, 2010

M.S.J.E. finally concedes to D.R.G.’s demand for a new law!

North Zone Consultation in New Delhi on January 29 and 30
North Zone Consultation in New Delhi on January 29 and 30

D.N.I.S. News Network, India: It took eight months of perseverant advocacy, but finally the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment (M.S.J.E.) has conceded to the demand for a brand new law on disability. M.S.J.E. has formed a Committee to draft the new law which will “replace” the Disability Act of 1995. Dr. (Mrs.) Sudha Kaul, Vice Chairperson, Indian Institute of Cerebral Palsy, Kolkata has been asked to spearhead this Committee.

East Zone Consultation in Guwahati on February 20
East Zone Consultation in Guwahati on February 20

The idea for a brand new law emerged at the third meeting of the National Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (N.C.R.P.D.) – India in July 2009. It was endorsed by the Disabled Rights Group (D.R.G.).

South Zone Consultation in Chennai on April 16 and 17
South Zone Consultation in Chennai on April 16 and 17

A delegation led by D.R.G. Convenor, Javed Abidi met Mukul Wasnik twice on this issue, on August 29, 2009, and then again on February 9 to impress upon him the importance of going in for a new law instead of amending the Persons with Disabilities (Equal Opportunities, Protection of Rights and Full Participation) Act, 1995.

West Zone Consultation in Mumbai on April 24 and 25
West Zone Consultation in Mumbai on April 24 and 25

While M.S.J.E. took its own time to arrive at a decision, National Centre for Promotion of Employment for Disabled People (N.C.P.E.D.P.) along with D.R.G. organised a National Consultation in New Delhi on October 29 last year, and four Zonal Consultations in New Delhi, Guwahati, Chennai and Mumbai respectively to broadbase the discussion and evolve a national consensus on this issue.

D.R.G. also appointed a Core Group to envision and begin drafting a new law as early as August 2009. Over two dozen or more meetings from then till now, the D.R.G. Core Group has not only unveiled a vision document (the Chapterization of the new Disability Act 2010) but has also drafted as many as 17 chapters.

Click here for M.S.J.E.’s notification

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