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Led by Brinda Karat, thousands protest at Parliament Street

D.N.I.S. News Network, India: Led by Communist Party of India - Marxist (C.P.I. – M.) politburo member and Rajya Sabha M.P. Brinda Karat, thousands of disabled people from across disabilities and organizations marched towards Parliament on April 20 to demand a separate ministry for disability affairs, comprehensive social security, job reservations among many other issues.

Speaking at the protest, Karat said that the government has to change its basic framework and accommodate the needs of disabled people on a rights based approach and not on the basis of charity. Putting forward the demands of the disability sector, Karat said, “We want a new disability law, a separate ministry for disability affairs, amendment of the Right to Education Act, all existing laws to be in line with U.N.C.R.P.D., comprehensive social security, free health care for disabled people, three percent job reservation, grants for special schools, universal identity card (disability certificate) that is accepted in all institutions and government organizations, Antyodaya card for the poor and enumeration of all persons with disabilities.”

Organised under the umbrella of the National Platform for the Rights of the Disabled, the protest had representation from organizations like Paschimbanga Rajya Pratibandhi Sammilani, West Bengal; Differently Abled Persons Welfare Association, Kerala; Karnataka Federation of Disabled and their Parents; Platform for the Rights of Differently Abled, Andhra Pradesh; Jharkhand Viklanga Morcha, etc.

It may be mentioned that earlier in the day, prior to the march, Karat along with select representatives from the disability sector had met Prime Minister, Dr. Manmohan Singh and submitted a nine-point Charter of Demands.

Click here for the nine-point Charter of Demands (Word - 24 KB)