Volume 4 Issue 1 - January 01, 2006

National Disability Policy approved by Union Cabinet

D.N.I.S. News Network-The Union Cabinet has approved a National Policy for Disabled People at a meeting presided over by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.

Sharing this information with the media, Information and Broadcasting Minister Priya Ranjan Dasmunsi told reporters on 23 December that: "The National Policy for Disabled People aims to set up mechanisms for promotion and protection of rights of persons with disabilities and provide them equal opportunity to participate fully in the society. This will also enhance their dignity and self-respect."

It will provide guidance to central government ministries, state governments, NGOs and other stakeholders for taking up programmes for persons with disabilities," the Minister was quoted as saying.

The announcement came as a surprise to the disability leaders and representatives who were expecting the final draft of the National Policy to be shared with them as per the promise made by the then Joint Secretary, Jayati Chandra, at the culmination of the National Consultation in New Delhi.

We spoke to Director, Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment (M.S.J.E.), Asish Kumar, and quizzed him about the said promise and when would the National Policy be made public.

“The feedback that was received from all quarters, individuals and organisations, was placed before the committee and as much as was possible was incorporated in the National Policy before finalising it. The Minister, Miera Kumar, will make a formal announcement soon,” he said.

The disability sector is now anxious to study the contents of this National Policy that will not only have a direct bearing on the lives of approximately 70 million disabled people but will also fundamentally determine the course of future interventions.

It needs to be mentioned here that it was only after an intense media campaign and outcry by Disabled Rights Group (D.R.G.) and others in the disability sector on the lack of participation by persons with disabilities and Disabled Peoples’ Organisations that M.S.J.E. had held a daylong National Consultation on the Draft National Policy for Persons with Disabilities. At the National Consultation meeting D.R.G. had expressed strong objection to the top-down approach taken in formulating the Draft which is a violation of the mandate of Biwako Millennium Framework.

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National Centre for Promotion of Employment for Disabled People

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