PUDUCHERRY: The Puducherry Deaf Society has urged the Union government to provide motor vehicle driving licences to the hearing-impaired people by modifying the draft for Road Transport and Safety Bill, 2014.
In a memorandum addressed to Union Minister for Road Transport and Highways Nitin Gadkari, Puducherry Deaf Society president R Saravanan said the Motor Vehicle Act 1988 and Rules 1989 do not consider individuals with hearing impairment as eligible for driving licence. Hearing loss was not a medical condition, but an impairment, which may lead to handicap, if opportunities were not provided to them. It was necessary to empower these individuals with education and self-reliance. No driving licence meant restricted mobility that directly affected the livelihood of individuals, and ultimately progress in life and career, he said.
Persons with disabilities Act 1995 assures all individuals with disabilities for equal opportunities, protection of rights, and full participation. Unfortunately, declining driving licences excludes these individuals from effective inclusion in society. Stating that it was a discrimination, he said that it needed to be corrected.