Disability Rights Group 'Shocked' Over Changes in Bill

Published: 01st February 2014 10:05 PM  |   Last Updated: 01st February 2014 10:05 PM   |  A+A-


Tearing into the recent amendments in the Disabilities Bill, Disabled Rights Group (DRG) today said the Bill in its current form militates against the norms of UN convention on the rights of persons with disabilities. The group slammed the nod to the amendments in Rights of Persons with Disabilities Bill, given by the Union Cabinet, and said scores of disabled persons from the country will hold a protest at India Gate on February 3.   

What has come out in the form of the Bill is a totally "watered down" version of what the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment had put up on its website in October 2012, said Javed Abidi, convenor of DRG.   

"The Bill in the current form is not just a negation of already won rights and the recent judgement of the Supreme Court in the matter of jobs for persons with disabilities but militates against the United Nations Convention on Rights of Persons with Disabilities, which it claims to harmonise with," he said.  

"We are shocked and dismayed as the current form of the Bill is unacceptable," he said.     

Citing few examples, he said the definition of persons with disability takes us back to a medical model, recognition of legal capacity of persons with disability, which is one of the main features of UNCRPD is completely diluted.       

The sections on the most vulnerable groups, children and women with disabilities, are missing apart from gaps in identification and recognition of jobs and reservation in promotions, regulatory mechanisms etc.          

To urge the government to include a set of amendments before passing the bill, scores of disabled persons from across India will gather at India Gate on February 3 under the banner of the Joint Forum for Disability Rights.     

"Many of us were elated when during the course of the Samarthan event on January 15, UPA Chairperson Sonia Gandhi, announced that the Disability Rights Bill will be introduced during the forthcoming session of parliament but now that the contents of the bill are out in open, we are disappointed," he said.

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