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Prime Minister meets N.F.B. members; Assures looking into amendments to Disability Act

D.N.I.S. News Network – In a major breakthrough for the disability sector, particularly those with vision impairment, Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh has agreed to demands raised by National Federation of the Blind (N.F.B.).

The assurance came on 15 February in a meeting between the Prime Minister and members of N.F.B. who had been agitating since last November on a charter of demands that they want to be addressed to improve condition of vision impaired people in the country.

One of the key demands is pertaining to filling up of vacancies even though the People with Disabilities Act of 1995 guarantees reservations for the blind in government jobs, very few of these posts are actually filled.

“The Act guarantees one per cent reservation for the blind at a conservative estimate of 15,000 jobs. Almost none of these posts is filled, and the PM has promised that an employment drive will be started soon to clear the backlog,” N.F.B. General Secretary S K Rungta was quoted as saying.

Amendment of The Disability Act is another major demand being raised by N.F.B. In 1999, a government panel had given recommendations for amendments but Rungta says no action has been taken as yet. However, the Prime Minister has reportedly assured N.F.B. delegation that the report would be considered and taken up in the Budget Session of Parliament.