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Resource id #4 Rights activists demand government support for self-help groups - Volume 1 Issue 4: Disability News and Information Service for India

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Volume 1 Issue 4 - October 15, 2003

Rights activists demand government support for self-help groups

DNIS News Network – Criticising society’s step-motherly attitude towards the rights of disabled people, disability rights activist Javed Abidi appealed for the genuine inclusion of disabled people in the self-help movement, during a session ‘Self Help Organisations of persons with disabilities and related family and parent associations’ at the national consultation meet on Biwako Millennium Framework.

He said that only a strong self-help movement could succeed in addressing basic issues like right to accessibility, employment, self-reliance and legal empowerment.

“It has been seen that the rights of disabled people are often violated. Even after the enactment of The Disability Act 1995 way back in 1996, construction of public buildings is taking place even today, completely ignoring the mandatory need of a barrier-free architecture.”

Other speakers gave details on the formation of self-help groups; how the groups could operate and what kind of rights they could enjoy.

It was recommended that self-help groups should get government’s support and funding; promote a cross disability approach, including parents and family members of mentally disabled people; loans should be made available to self-help groups without collaterals and mortgage security and that government should encourage national and international donors for helping in resource mobilization for these groups.

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