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Is M.S.J.E. finally inching towards a new law?

D.N.I.S. News Network, India: After months of dodging the question, Mukul Wasnik, Minister for Social Justice and Empowerment, is now openly talking about the possibility of a new law based on U.N.C.R.P.D., instead of the proposed amendments to the Disability Act of 1995. This spells good news for the Indian disability sector which has been consistently demanding a new law in place of the old one.

When a delegation of Disabled Rights Group (D.R.G.), led by Convenor Javed Abidi, met him in August last year he seemed open to the idea of a new law. But in later discourses, he spoke only of amendments and his Ministry also seemed to be moving towards that. However, D.R.G. continued to take the debate to all nooks and cranny with a National Consultation in New Delhi, followed by Zonal ones in North and East.

National Centre for Promotion of Employment for Disabled People (N.C.P.E.D.P.) wrote to Wasnik again in January this year. Wasnik was yet to make up his mind.

Recently, while addressing the Parliamentary Consultative Committee attached to Social Justice and Empowerment Ministry, Wasnik said that changes to the current Disability Act would be so wide ranging that it may have to be replaced by an altogether new law.

Again, in an interview with a leading daily, he said that the Ministry has tried to change the Disability Act of 1995 to match U.N.C.R.P.D. and there will be a new law soon.

These recent developments have given hope to the sector that at least this time around they will be able to work together with the Government and avoid unnecessary confrontations.

Click here to read Mukul Wasnik’s address to Parliamentary Consultative Committee

Click here to read Mukul Wasnik’s interview to the Business Standard