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Minister promises amendments to N.R.E.G.A.

D.N.I.S. News Network, India: Minister for Rural Development, Dr. C.P. Joshi has promised to make necessary amendments to the National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (N.R.E.G.A.) to consider persons with disabilities as one unit and to issue separate job cards and allot work to disabled persons according to their interest, aptitude and abilities. This comes after disabled activists under the banner of Viklang Manch submitted 6 demands to the Minister, after social audits at the panchayat level.

The demands also included adding disability in Section 4 of the Act with other vulnerable groups, reserving 3 percent of all expenditure in each district for disabled people and inclusion of new jobs and jobs specific for particular disabilities.

N.R.E.G.A. is one of the country’s flagship programmes that promises 100 days of employment in a year to rural households. While the Act does not mention disability as a deterrent for providing employment, it does not mention specific jobs that can be sanctioned to people with disabilities.

The government, in 2008, had issued an order listing jobs that can be sanctioned to disabled people but only Madhya Pradesh has notified it till now.