D.N.I.S. News Network- President A.P.J. Abdul Kalam has called upon the Government institutions to respect the Disability Act 1995, which provides for three per cent reservations of jobs for disabled people, so as to allow them to lead an economically independent life.
“There must be a mechanism for effective monitoring of adherence to the Act by the concerned ministries and departments, so that the differently able personnel are able to lead an economically independent normal life,” the President said in his address at the concluding function of the Silver Jubilee celebrations of All India Confederation of the Blind (A.I.C.B.) on 18 November.
“I have seen a few states have taken initiative on their own to assist training and absorption in governmental units. All of us have the responsibility to help such persons. Much more than the legal provisions are the need to empower disabled persons with right type of knowledge, skills and technology. Then alone they will have the fullest self-esteem,” he added.
Emphasising the role that technology can play in assisting people with vision impairment, he said: “If the software and hardware for the visually impaired people are available at an affordable cost, if the software is accessible through web, then certainly it will reach the needy and will be of help to them to overcome the problems. In this effort, in Rashtrapati Bhavan, as a first step my friends have developed a ‘Speech Applet’ which provides a speech interface to my website for the visually impaired people and has been released on 26 January 2005.”
Further stressing the point, the President said that the 2001 Census indicates that over two crore people suffer from different types of disabilities. The largest number of disabilities is of visual impairment. Hence, all the effort must be directed towards finding technology tools for removing the visual impairment in a time bound manner.
“I would request the N.G.O.s, corporates, academicians, philanthropists and the government to join together for finding lasting solution to make the life of these two crore people in the country productive. This I would consider a great contribution towards human resource mobilisation for the national development mission,” he added.