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Resource id #3 “What is the hurry?” Minister, M.S.J.E. asks the Committee drafting new disability law - Volume 8 Issue 4: Disability News and Information Service for India

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Volume 8 Issue 4 - February 15, 2011

“What is the hurry?” Minister, M.S.J.E. asks the Committee drafting new disability law

D.N.I.S. News Network, India: The woes of the Committee drafting the proposed new disability law seem to be far from over. This time a rap on the knuckles has come straight from the Minister for Social Justice and Empowerment (M.S.J.E.), Mukul Wasnik. Wasnik was addressing a briefing of the State Coordinators who are to facilitate the Consultations in their respective States, on February 11 in New Delhi. Despite strong opposition from Disabled Rights Group (D.R.G.) and others, the Committee was adamantly trying to go ahead with 16 State level Consultations in 10 days – from February 12 to 22 without any translations of the Draft New Law which was released only on February 10! Following this reprimand, the Committee has now extended the time for organising State Consultations to March 10. The Working Draft will also be translated into regional languages.

“What is the hurry?” Wasnik asked the Committee and said that time should not be a constraint and whatever is done should be as close to perfection as possible. He also added that meaningful Consultations would not be possible unless they take place through regional languages so that the masses can contribute. "None should be left out to say that she/he had a view but did not get an opportunity", he categorically stated.

D.R.G. and National Disability Network (N.D.N.) along with other disability rights activists like Rajiv Rajan in Tamil Nadu; M. Srinivasulu in Andhra Pradesh; Gautam Choudhary in West Bengal and Javed Ahmad Tak in Jammu and Kashmir had vehemently argued that first the Working Draft of the proposed disability rights law must be first translated into regional/state languages and it should then be disseminated widely for people to be able to read it before the Consultations.

Echoing this sentiment, Wasnik said, "Meaningful consultation will not be possible unless consultations take place through state languages so that the mass of people can contribute".

“I am glad to see Civil Society to be so vibrant, aggressive, informed and committed,” he went on to say.

According to the new timeline, State Consultations will now finish by March 10. The deadline for the filing of reports is now March 15. After that, the Committee will meet one more time on March 23 and 24.

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