It was at an everyday lecture at the Lal Bahadur Shastri National Academy of Administration, Mussoorie, that Javed Abidi, Executive Director of National Centre for Promotion of Employment for Disabled People (NCPEDP), came across an unusual case. Two disabled young men, Rigzin Sampheal and Lokesh had qualified the Civil Service exams entirely on their own merit and should have been placed in the Indian Administrative Service (IAS).
Instead, they had been given the Indian Information Service (IIS) because the Government of India (GOI) feels that people with disabilities cannot, or rather should not, be allowed to become IAS officers.
It was in 1977 that the GOI gave 3 per cent reservation in jobs to disabled people, but only in the 'C' and 'D' categories. The Disability Act of 1995 tried to change that and extended the reservation to the 'A' and 'B' categories.
However, out of 26 service categories of Indian Administrative Services, only three services are reserved for disabled candidates. There are no vacancies for visually or hearing impaired candidates even in those categories.
Although the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) conducts examinations every year in a disabled-friendly atmosphere with Braille question papers, it has no jobs to offer to eligible candidates!
In 21st century India, hundreds and thousands of trained, smart and educated disabled people are still being denied employment opportunities that are theirs by right.