D.N.I.S. News Network, India: The Amendment Bill to the Right to Education Act 2009 has been formally approved by the Union Cabinet. The amendments will include adding children with disabilities under the ‘disadvantaged’ category and bringing disabilities like autism, mental retardation and other intellectual disabilities under the overall definition of ‘disability’. The Bill is likely to be introduced in the budget session of the Parliament.
In July this year, disabled rights leaders had vehemently protested the Act as it included only those disabilities defined under the Disability Act of 1995. Also, the Act did not consider disabled children under the ‘disadvantaged children’ category. It was only after the intervention of Prime Minster, Dr. Manmohan Singh and U.P.A. Chairperson, Sonia Gandhi that the Human Resource Development Ministry agreed to include the concerns of the disability sector in the Act.
For the last few months, some disability sector leaders have been working to ‘look’ at the amendments process. However, in a typical reactive and ultra slow mannerism that the sector has long been accused of, nothing concrete has been achieved as yet. In fact when D.N.I.S. spoke to one such leader, she wasn’t even aware that the Amendment Bill had already been approved by the Union Cabinet.