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Volume 3 Issue 13July 01, 2005
- D.R.G. demands a Separate Ministry on Disability Issues
Disabled Rights Group (D.R.G.) has finally voiced its demand for a separate Ministry for disability issues or it should be shifted to Ministry of Human Resource Development (M.H.R.D.). And why not? Even after almost a decade of the enactment of The Disability Act, 1995, nothing substantial has been done for the betterment of the disabled people, thanks to the low priority given to disability by the Ministry of Social Justice & Empowerment (M.S.J.E.), which mainly focuses on Scheduled Castes & Minorities and follows a welfare approach. Disability sector feels that the current administrative infrastructure is inadequate and lacks the power. Disability has to be pegged at a higher level – at the Ministerial level. Only then will it be possible for it to play an effective role of a nodal agency to coordinate with other Ministries / Departments at the highest level, examines Chitra S. Shankar.
- Zonal Consultation to operationalise Comprehensive Plan of Action for Inclusive Education
Parvinder Singh examines the recent developments on inclusive education front and reports on the Zonal consultation held in Mumbai on 25 June to operationalise the Comprehensive Plan of Action for Inclusive Education of Children and Youth with Disabilities announced by Arjun Singh.
- Inclusive Education is high on priority for U.G.C : Rajasekaran Pillai
“Inclusive Education is high on priority,” says Rajasekaran Pillai, Vice Chairman, University Grants Commission, in an interview with Parvinder Singh.
- Society, American or Indian, must regard all citizens as potentially contributing citizens: Avraham
“I went to the Grand Central Y.M.C.A. in New York to spend the night. But I was told at the desk that they could not have me because their insurance company did not allow it. So there was discrimination on the very first day I came to the U.S.:” Avraham Rabbi, Assistant Information Officer, Electronic Media, and the first blind person to be employed by the U.S. State Department in the Foreign Service, in conversation with Anjali Sen Gupta.
- D.R.G.’s demand for separate Ministry, a step in right direction: Justice Anand
Winds of progressive change may yet blow away the blinkered attitude with which most people approach disability issues. A softly-spoken statement at a national conference on disability in Delhi, if pursued to its logical end, has the power to irrevocably transform the disability sector. That statement is a declaration of support for Disabled Rights Group’s (D.R.G.) demand for a separate Ministry to look into the issues of persons with disability, by no less an entity than the National Human Rights Commission (N.H.R.C.).
- Mumbai H.C. wants Braille E.V.M.s at all polling booths; directs C.E.O. to publicise
Mumbai High Court, last week, asked the Chief Election officer (C.E.O.) for Maharashtra to consider providing Braille Electronic Voting Machines (E.V.M.s) throughout the state during all the elections henceforth. The court also wants the C.E.O to take the initiative in ensuring that the ramps are put up at all the polling booths so as to enable disabled people using wheelchairs to exercise their voting rights.
- Public buildings flaunting disability regulations not to be certified: M.C.D.
The Municipal Corporation of Delhi (M.C.D.) may be getting its act together in the wake of severe criticism for failing to address the issue of disability access in its draft plan for new building byelaws released a few weeks ago.
- Ministry of Social Justice releases Draft National Policy for Persons with Disabilities
The Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment has come out with Draft National Policy for Persons with Disabilities and sought suggestions from individuals/organisations that “may be taken care of at the time of finalisation.”
- India has 21.9 million disabled; Visual impairment highest of all disabilities
The Registrar-General of India recently released break-up figures for disability following the analysis of Census 2001 data.
- Despite hike unemployed persons with disabilities in Punjab get less than non-disabled counterparts
Punjab cabinet sanctioned a hike in allowance given to unemployed persons with disabilities, at a meeting held earlier this month. The meeting of Council of Ministers chaired by Punjab Chief Minister Capt. Amarinder Singh, unanimously approved the hike.
- Disability group in A.P. threatens legal recourse over withdrawal of disability allowance
Peeved over sudden withdrawal of the monthly allowance of a meagre Rs. 75 to unemployed disabled persons by the Andhra Pradesh Government, Network of the Persons with Disabilities Organisation has threatened to seek legal recourse.
- Case filed against Indian Airlines for discrimination against disabled passengers
A lawsuit has been slapped against the state-run Indian Airlines for following a discriminatory policy toward passengers booking tickets under the category of disabled persons by not confirming their tickets and keeping them on the waiting list.
- National conference on disability organised in Delhi
National Human Rights Commission (N.H.R.C.) has identified two main obstacles in the substantive realisation of human rights by persons with disability. One is lack of capacity of various institutions and functionaries, coupled with crippling inadequacies in basic systems. Even 10 years after the passing of the Disability Act, improvements at the ground level have been very lop-sided and modest.
- Learning forum for livelihoods promotion for disabled persons
The Poorest Areas Civil Society (P.A.C.S.) programme organised a meeting of likeminded agencies to reflect on setting up a Learning Forum for Livelihoods Promotion for the Disabled, on 23 July 2005 at India Habitat Centre, New Delhi.