Volume 8 Issue 7 - April 01, 2011

Beleaguered Committee drafting new disability law set to miss deadline yet again!

D.N.I.S. News Network, India: Post the flak the Working Draft of the proposed new disability law got at the recently concluded State Consultations, the Committee drafting the new disability law had its 10th meeting on March 23 and 24. However, the minutes of the meeting have not been made public yet. Legal Consultations are now planned for April 9 and 10. Therefore, it can be safely assumed that the Committee is nowhere close to meeting its 3rd deadline of March 31.

As reported earlier, the Working Draft has come under severe criticism from the disability sector. Meanwhile, National Centre for Promotion of Employment for Disabled People (N.C.P.E.D.P.) had collated the feedback from experts and people with disabilities from across the country on the Working Draft through the Bengaluru based Diversity and Equal Opportunity Centre (D.E.O.C.). There were several drawbacks that the comments pointed out.

One of the experts pointed out “the introduction appears like we are enacting this law because we have ratified U.N.C.R.P.D. It doesn’t look like as if we really believe in this (law).”

Experts were critical that the draft lacked focus vis-ŕ-vis poverty and rural areas. It was also felt that definitions lacked consistency and were different in different places. Chapters on Education, Accessibility, Employment, etc. came under severe criticism.

With regards to Education, the term “appropriate education” was found to be unclear and one of the experts felt that this term should not even be used in this day and age, especially after ratifying U.N.C.R.P.D.

Experts were extremely critical of the chapter on Employment. They could not find any logical reason as to how 6 percent (for reservation in jobs) was arrived at. There was also no rationale for the division of this 6 percent among various disabilities. Several disabilities have apparently been left out. There was also no clear logic behind clubbing intellectual impairment, autism and mental illness.

Other key chapters such as Human Resource Development and Authorities also left a lot to be expected. It will now be interesting to see how the Committee fares at the Legal Consultation and what face saving steps will they be forced to take before and after it.

Click here to read the full text of the compilation of feedback from experts (Word - 172 KB)

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