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NCPEDP-Shell Helen Keller Awardees 2013
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Volume 6 Issue 8October 01, 2009
- The ‘State’ of Affairs: Where does the buck stop?
India has 70 million people with disabilities. Of this, there would be at least some lakh of people who are destitute and therefore, vulnerable to abuse and exploitation. Billions of rupees are allocated each year to ‘welfare’ schemes of such people. Why then, everytime, there arises a situation where the government needs to take onus, responsibility is passed faster than a ‘passing the parcel’ game? Dorodi Sharma of D.N.I.S. takes a look at the 'State' of affairs.
- “Government systems are not equipped,
A 19 year old orphaned mentally retarded girl is raped at a government run shelter home in Chandigarh and gets pregnant. Barely 2 months before the delivery and a month after the Supreme Court judgement putting the onus on the State, Chandigarh administration is asking the National Trust ‘Whose baby is it?’. Dorodi Sharma of D.N.I.S. went to Chandigarh with the National Trust’s Sub – Committee members. Here are excerpts from the discussion between the Sub – Committee and Home Secretary of Chandigarh, Ram Niwas.
- India ratifies U.N.C.R.P.D. and then forgets!
D.N.I.S. News Network: On October 1, 2007, India ratified the United Nations Convention on Rights of Persons with Disabilities (U.N.C.R.P.D.), much before any other significant country in the world. However, two years down the line, its implementation is close to zero! U.N.C.R.P.D. in India has just been rendered to a paper that the President of India had put her signature on.
- Finally, R.T.E. Act to be amended to include all disabilities
D.N.I.S. News Network: In what can be seen as a totally unprecedented event in Indian political history, the Right To Education Act will be amended to include all disabilities barely a month after it was passed by the Parliament and signed by the President of India. The move comes after a direct intervention made by Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh, following protests by disabled rights activists.
- Hush hush appointment of Chief Commissioner for Persons with Disabilities
D.N.I.S. News Network: For quite some time now, the disability sector has been demanding the appointment of a Chief Commissioner for Persons with Disabilities. The post has been lying vacant for several months now. But recently Sangita Gairola, Additional Secretary, Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment, took additional charge as the new Chief Commissioner for Persons with Disabilities.
- International Day of the Deaf celebrated
D.N.I.S. News Network: The National Association of the Deaf (N.A.D.) celebrated the International Day of the Deaf on September 27, the last Sunday of September, with a number of Deaf Awareness Marches across the country. This was the first time in history that such an activity was conducted in 10 cities simultaneously. The cities include Delhi, Chandigarh, Lucknow, Jaipur, Bhopal, Hyderabad, Patna, Chennai, Shimla and Dehradun. Around 6 thousand people across the country took part in the marches.
- Amendment or New Law? National Consultation to take the debate further
D.N.I.S. News Network: While the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment seems to be going ahead with the amendments to the Disability Act despite strong demands from the disability sector to look at the possibility of a new Act, National Centre for Promotion of Employment for Disabled People (N.C.P.E.D.P) is organizing a National Consultation on October 29 in New Delhi to take this debate to a larger platform.
- ‘Right to Read’ : Visually impaired people demand a change in the Copyright Act
D.N.I.S. News Network: While the government is basking in the glory of the Right to Education Act which guarantees education to all, millions of visually impaired people still do not have access to books. All because the Copyright Act of 1957 does not allow the conversion of books into accessible formats.
- Draft Amendments to the National Trust Act released
D.N.I.S. News Network: For the past one year, the National Trust for Welfare of Persons with Autism, Cerebral Palsy, Mental Retardation and Multiple Disabilities has been in the process of drafting the proposed amendments to the National Trust Act of 1999. The draft amendments have been now been made public
- Pay up, Supreme Court tells banks!
D.N.I.S. News Network: The Supreme Court of India has issued notices to the Reserve Bank of India, 27 nationalised banks and the Indian Bank Association asking for an explanation as to why they have not complied with its 2004 judgement directing them to put the money collected by rounding up interest tax collections in a corpus fund for implementation of the Disability Act of 1995.
- Right to drive for hearing impaired people - Delhi High court to decide soon
D.N.I.S. News Network: In response to a P.I.L. file by National Association of the Deaf (N.A.D.) seeking the right to drive for people with hearing impairment, the Delhi High Court on September 18, has asked the Centre to make adequate recommendations for issuing driving license to deaf people within four weeks.
- Delhi High Court directs Delhi government to appoint special educators
D.N.I.S. News Network: A Division Bench comprising Chief Justice Ajit Prakash Shah and Justice Manmohan has directed the Delhi government to appoint special educators in the 3,000 schools run by it and Municipal Corporation of Delhi (M.C.D.) and New Delhi Municipal Council (N.D.M.C.) within the next 6 months.