The path of change for the disabled

Published: 17th July 2012 08:16 AM  |   Last Updated: 17th July 2012 08:16 AM   |  A+A-


A book-release-cum-discussion on The Future of Disability Law in India authored by Jayna Kothari will be held at Bangalore International Centre on Friday at 6.30 pm.

The speakers of the discussion will be Dr Meenu Bhambhani, Head, Office of Diversity and Inclusion; and Head, Corporate Social Responsibility at a leading MNC and Arvind Narain, lternative Law Forum.

Jayna Kothari is founder member  of the Centre for Law and Policy Research, Bangalore and a lawyer practising in the Karnataka High Court and the Supreme Court.

She graduated from the University of Oxford. In 2008, she was awarded the D C Pavate Fellowship at the University of Cambridge. Her areas of practice are constitutional law, human rights and intellectual property rights.

She has been taking up disability discrimination litigation since the last several years in the courts and has also been writing extensively on these topics.

According to some estimates, there are around 20 to 60 million people with disability in India. For long, this invisible minority went without any kind of protection or even legislation aimed at recognising their basic rights.

It was only in 1995 that the government passed the Persons with Disabilities Act (PWD), which addressed the issues of non-discrimination, right to equal opportunity, and affirmative action for persons with disabilities for the first time. The book is a critical and comprehensive analysis of the PWD act. It examines the Act from a historical perspective, giving an overview of the various legal approaches towards addressing disability-related discrimination.

The author critically examines the various provisions of the Act -- the definition of disability, affirmative action, equal opportunities in education, reservation in employment and implementation.

The volume also offers an international perspective on disability law by comparatively analysing Indian disability law with international jurisprudence.

Taking into account the judgements of the Supreme Court and various high courts, it presented a forward thinking interpretation of the Act in light of the UN convention on the rights of persons with disabilities which India has ratified.

About the speakers

Dr Meenu Bhambhani's  specific responsibilities, apart from leading the corporate social programme, include leading the company's diversity initiatives with specific focus on disability. She has worked on disability and development at the World Bank, held a high-level government initiatives, with specific focus on disability and gender.

Arvind Narain is Head of Alternative Law Forum, Bangalore and one of the prominent lawyers fighting the Section 377 case in the Supreme Court of India.

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