D.N.I.S. News Network – Ten years after the Disability Act mandated that the state governments must notify schemes for unemployment allowance to disabled people registered with the Special Employment Exchange for over two years, the Delhi Government has finally introduced a monthly unemployment allowance of Rs. 350.
The above provision of unemployment allowance is at the core of the section on Social Security for disabled people who are denied gainful employment and left on the margins of the nation’s economic life.
The announcement of unemployment allowance by the Delhi Government in its budget for 2006-2007 needs to be seen in the backdrop of a Delhi High Court notice to the Government of National Capital Territory of Delhi, among others, following a petition by Convenor of Disabled Rights Group (D.R.G.) Javed Abidi that drew attention to the non-implementation of the Act.
Abidi had particularly highlighted the issue of identification of jobs for persons with disabilities (Section 33), declaration of Incentive Policy (Section 41), Social Security for disabled people registered with Special Employment Exchanges for two years or more (Chapter XIII).
Abidi had written a letter to Justice Mukul Mudgal drawing attention to the issue of non-implementation of the Disability Act in early December 2006. Taking cognisance of the importance of the matter, Justice Mudgal had then admitted it as a Public Interest Litigation in the Delhi High Court on 20 December 2006 and the first hearing of the case was held on 4 February 2006.
With costs of living in Delhi touching the sky, to some the amount may seem meager. The amount is also far less than the neighbouring state of Haryana that has earmarked unemployment allowance of over Rs.1,000 for visually impaired graduates, people with mental disabilities are given Rs.600 per month and even those disabled people who are employees of the state government get a special allowance for travel.
But this is indeed a good beginning and disability sector hopes will gather strength in consequent budgets.