Volume 3 Issue 21 - November 01, 2005
H.C. gives Goa Government six months to frame a disability policy
D.N.I.S. News Network – In a continuing success for the struggle of the disability sector in Goa, the Panjim Bench of Bombay High Court has ordered the State Government to frame a State Policy for Persons with Disability within the next six months to address the problems faced by people with disabilities.
The Court accepted the Action Plan submitted by Secretary Social Welfare Santosh Vaidya for implementing recommendations of Access Audit Report (A.A.R.) pertaining to creating barrier- free environment for disabled persons as required under The Disability Act 1995.
The Interim Order has come in response to Public Interest Litigation (P.I.L.) by two law students who had raised the issue of non-implementation of the Act by Goa Government. The Secretary Social Welfare, who submitted the Action Plan on the directions of Division Bench comprising Justice R.M. Lodha and Justice N.A. Britto, today stated that necessary funds would be provided for in implementing recommendations. Of the total 453 recommendations, 421 have been accepted.
Recommendations pertain to introducing necessary facilities in public places schools, buildings, government offices, etc . to make them easily accessible to disabled persons. Vaidya submitted that action plan has been prepared after having meetings with Head of Departments, who will be personally held responsible for any dereliction on their part.
He further submitted a survey of disabled persons would be conducted. One such survey was conducted in 1997. The State Co-ordination Committee has been ordered to take all necessary steps for implementing The Disability Act; monitor and evaluate execution of recommendations made in the A.A.R. and also co-ordinate with NGOs, in implementing the Act.
According to a local media report, the Directorate of Social Welfare, which is located on the first floor of a building is in the process of being shifted to adjacent Santa Casa building. It was a long pending demand of the disabled persons that Department of Social Welfare be located in a accessible place.
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