DRG unveils blueprint for rights of disabled citizens
DNIS News Network - As the countdown to World Disability Day begins, DRG presents a ‘Blueprint for Ensuring the Rights of Disabled Citizens in India ' to Dr. Manmohan Singh, Prime Minister of India, and Ms. Sonia Gandhi, Chairperson, United Progressive Alliance.
As the countdown to World Disability Day (3rd December) begins, the Disabled Rights Group (DRG) has presented a ‘Blueprint for Ensuring the Rights of Disabled Citizens in India ' to Dr. Manmohan Singh, Prime Minister of India. A copy of the same document was also sent to Ms. Sonia Gandhi, Chairperson, United Progressive Alliance.
The Blueprint lists the steps needed to make disabled people part of the national mainstream. The steps that need to be taken the most urgently are:
- Give due dignity and necessary powers to the Office of Chief Commissioner for Persons with Disabilities (CCPD).
- Appoint full time Disability Commissioners in all States and Union Territories.
- Re-institute the National Disability Commission.
The short term goals enumerated in the Blueprint are:
- Expand the definition of disability to include haemophilia, thalassaemia, autism, learning disabilities, etc.
- Make amendments to The Disability Act, 1995.
- Appoint a Disability Advisor or an Advisory Committee to the offices of the President, Prime Minister and all Chief Ministers.
- Create a Disability Assistive Framework in the Planning Commission at an appropriate level.
- Establish a National Disability Information System.
- Appoint a Member of the UPSC to represent the interests of people with disabilities. Preferably, the Member should be a disabled person herself/himself.
The Blueprint also envisages a long term vision for ensuring the rights of disabled citizens in India. Included in this are:
- Review all laws in the country in order to include the disability component wherever missing.
- Set up Legal Aid Units for disabled people in all the High Courts and in the Supreme Court of India.
- Allocate funds in each Central Ministry / Department for a Disability Sub-plan to address disability related issues, as envisaged in the X th Five Year Plan.
- Make concerted effort to implement all provisions under The Disability Act, 1995.
- Ensure representation of disabled people in the Rajya Sabha.
- Consider the possibility of a separate Ministry to focus on & exclusively deal with issues concerning the disabled citizens of India.