In the past few issues, D.N.I.S. has brought to you the views of disability rights activists and leaders from different parts of the country on the demand for a new law based on U.N.C.R.P.D. In this issue, Dorodi Sharma caught up with the leadership at the East Zone Consultation in Guwahati. Here’s what leaders from 6 of the 8 North Eastern States had to say on the ‘New Law vis-à-vis Amendments’ debate:
D.N.I.S.: Are you in favour of a new Disability Law? If no, then why? If yes, what are your aspirations from the new law?
Bertha G. Dkhar, Bethany Society, Shillong, Meghalaya: I support a new law as opposed to the proposed amendments to the Disability Act of 1995. The 1995 Act has outlived its time. We need to look at a more international and universal law which is based on U.N.C.R.P.D.
Tami Taniang, Chairman, Arunachal Pradesh Handicapped Welfare Society, Itanagar:
The new law should have more teeth, actually lot sharper teeth as far as accountability is concerned. This is the only way that the State would be forced to do its part.For me the biggest drawback of the Disability Act of 1995 is that it is seeped in red tapism and bureaucratic hassles. It is also archaic now and needs to be replaced.
I would want the new law to ensure that rights of all disabled people are protected and mechanisms put in place to see that benefits of all schemes reach each and every disabled person of the country at their doorstep.
Laishram Tokendra Ricky, Secretary General, Spastic Society of Manipur, Imphal: The Disability Act of 1995 has too many limitations and is outdated. It is therefore, time to replace it with a new law.
The new law should have more teeth, should have better implementation and monitoring. It should empower disabled people in all aspects of life.
Ketaki Bardalai, Executive Director, Foundation for Social Transformation, Guwahati, Assam: There are far too many gaps in the old Act. These can only be taken care of by a completely new law.
The new law should ensure a more rights based approach towards disability, based on U.N.C.R.P.D.
Katia, C.B.R. Coordinator, Prodigals’ Home, Dimapur, Nagaland: There is need for a new law as the old one is restrictive with no room for further improvement.
The new law should have stricter monitoring and implementation mechanisms.
Subir Datta, Secretary, Pratibandhi Punarvas Samiti, Agartala, Tripura: I support the demand for a new law as the Disability Act of 1995 is archaic now.I would like the new law to have more provisions to promote employment, accessibility and education. It should also have better monitoring.