Volume 1 Issue 5 - November 01, 2003

National panel for disabilities notified

DNIS News Network -- The Government of India has finally notified the constitution of National Commission for Persons with Disabilities.

It is understood that the nine-member panel would comprise a chairman, two full-time members and five associate members. The commission will also have a full-time member secretary. These members would have the power to seek information from any government organisation concerned with the implementation of schemes for disabled people.

According to teh Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment's (MSJE) gazette notification, three members should represent persons with hearing impairment, visual impairment, and physical disability. It is believed that one member each will be nominated from the association of parents of persons suffering from mental retardation and those affected by autism, cerebral palsy and multiple disabilities.

It has been decided that at least two members would be women. The chairperson and other members, except member secretary, would be appointed for a three-year term and can be re-appointed for an additional term.

The role of the commission would be to recommend action plans to the Centre to enable full participation of disabled people in society, including provisions for right to education; vocational training; poverty alleviation; employment and other support services.

However, when the secretary of MSJE was contacted on the powers of the commission, he said the commission would initially have no statutory power as is currently enjoyed by the office of Chief Commissioner for Persons with Disabilities (CCPD).

However, he did mention that eventually the commission would be formed through an amendment presented in Parliament after which CCPD will be dissolved at the central level.

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