Volume 3 Issue 1 - January 01, 2005

Still in a quest for justice

DNIS News Network - For a city that boasts of public facilities like metros, malls, public transport systems, complexes, etc, people with disabilities have consistently been getting less favourable treatment in all areas of life in Delhi.

On the eve of World Disability Day, two visually impaired people working for National Association for the Blind (NAB) were abused and forced to get down from a public private transport bus in Delhi. The reason being that private blue line buses are always reluctant to take disabled people on board because they are entitled to free travel.

A complaint was immediately filed with the nearest police station and the bus operators were identified and rounded up by the police. The bus owner and staff made a written apology and have also paid the compensation for the treatment of injuries suffered by the disabled commuters.

To ensure clear directions and implementation, NAB is planning to take up the matter with the State Transport Authority, Chief Commissioner for Disabilities and also the Chief Minister of Delhi.

Even the insurance sector shows signs of discrimination against disabled people.

Life Insurance Company (LIC) denied a life insurance policy to Bhaskar, a physically disabled research scientist at the Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore, on account of his disability. I wanted to get myself insured by LIC as per their norms. After undergoing a thorough medical check-up, the doctor certified that I do not have any residual medical complications. But to my surprise LIC, the biggest insurance company in India, has denied me the insurance on account of my disability, he lamented.

At another instance, Bhaskar has been asked by ICICI prudential to pay additional premium as he is a disabled person. When he refused, he was asked to withdraw his policy.

Bhaskar said, I would suggest that a joint campaign against this insensitive and old-fashioned way of discriminating against people, merely on account of disability, should be launched.

There should surly be a more sensitive and rational way through which people with disabilities disabled people can be insured in this country.

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