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People’s Budget Initiative includes a chapter on disability

D.N.I.S. News Network, India: Peoples Budget Initiative is a civil society coalition that campaigns for the inclusion of peoples movements, grassroots organisations and N.G.O.s in the policy processes that determine the priorities underlying Government budgets in India. For the first time, this Charter of Demand for the Union Budget, which presents the key budgetary and policy related concerns and recommendations that have emerged out of a consultative process, include disability as a separate chapter. This comes as a result of the collaboration between the National Centre for Promotion of Employment for Disabled People (N.C.P.E.D.P.) and Centre for Budget and Governance Accountability (C.B.G.A.), which coordinates the Peoples Budget Initiative.

The Charter of Demands for the Union Budget 2012-13 underlines the low priority accorded to disability in the Union Governments interventions and the need for urgent course correction especially in the field of health, education, community support services and employment. The Charter calls for significant resources to be directed towards mass awareness about the rights of persons with disabilities in order to facilitate inclusion. Another demand that the Charter highlights is the need to enforce the recommendation of the 11th Five Year Plan for 3 percent allocations of the budget in all concerned Union Ministries and Departments.

In education, the Charter emphasises the need to prioritise budgetary allocations for education of people with disabilities. To ensure greater convergence and more effective implementation, education of Children with Special Needs must be covered under the Ministry of Human Resource Development, the Charter adds.

The Charter also demands for increased allocation ensuring universal access to healthcare for persons with disabilities, including adequate early identification and interventions, habilitation and rehabilitation services as well as disability training and sensitisation among health workers at all levels. Special attention towards reproductive healthcare for girls and women with disabilities as well as inadequate investment in mental health services non-compliant with the Convention on the Rights Persons with Disabilities (C.R.P.D.) was another demand laid out in the Charter.