People urge Centre to pass Disability Bill

New Delhi, Dec.20: Members of Disability Rights Group have asked the central government not to delay passage of the Rights of Persons with Disabilities Bill. The bill pertains to the rights of millions of disabled people and the disabled feel there will be no opposition to its passing in Parliament.

The disabled said they could not understand why the bill is still stuck in the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO). ”This is one of those bills where there is no fight and difference of opinions, it is a non-political law. We are appealing the government and cabinet to pass this bill as soon as possible and send it to Parliament. This law should be passed in the winter session itself. Rights of around 70 million disabled people are associated with this law,” said the founder of the Disability Rights Group, Javed Abidi.

This bill is supposed to replace the Persons with Disabilities (Equal Opportunities, Protection of Rights and Full Participation) Act, 1995. Earlier, bill was introduced in the Upper House but had to be sent to the Parliamentary Standing Committee after several disabilities groups expressed concerns about various provisions.

The new law will expand the definition of disability including 19 conditions compared to seven disabilities in the 1995 Act. Persons with at least 40 percent of disability are entitled to benefits such as reservations in education and employment, preference in government schemes, etc. The bill also confers several rights for disabled people including disabled friendly access to all public buildings hospitals, modes of transport, polling stations, etc.

District courts will award two types of guardianship to mentally challenged persons. Limited guardian will take decisions jointly with the mentally ill person and plenary guardian will take decisions on behalf of the affected person, without consulting him. Violation of any provision of the act is punishable with imprisonment up to six months, and/or fine of 10,000 rupees with subsequent violations carrying a higher penalty.

Source : India.com

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