Need task force on disability: Tourism minister

Need task force on disability: Tourism minister

NEW DELHI: Tourism minister Kapil Mishra on Tuesday asked for the establishment of a task force on 'persons with disabilities' before the Delhi Dialogue Commission. The minister stressed on the urgent need to collaborate with civil society, disability groups, the government and academics to ensure Delhi becomes an accessible city for everyone.

In a letter to DDC chairperson Ashish Khetan on Tuesday, Mishra said: "There is an immediate need to pursue empowerment initiatives for people with physical and mental disabilities who often get left behind when any policy is designed or implemented."

He has gone on to list a number of initiatives which are required to improve accessibility and ensure empowerment of such people. "There needs to be immediate mainstreaming of and interventions to allow them to avail healthcare and education facilities. They should have easy access to Delhi as a city, from roads, monument, bridges, public spaces, private locations to homes and colonies. The PWD (persons with disability) Act, 1995 also needs to be implemented urgently," he said.

Other suggestions include the establishment of a Delhi State Disability Commission with a full-time commissioner, the involvement of disabled person groups while making policies and schemes for them, ensuring a certain percentage of jobs for physically handicapped persons and starting a special cell for rights of disabled women in rural and urban areas.

Mishra said that to ensure their mainstreaming, it is also essential to provide employment for them and the government should start an employment-linked training program to end discrimination in the social sphere. "Delhi should become the first completely barrier-free state. There should be a single window for all state-assisted schemes for disabled persons and a helpline. The government could also provide lifetime medical and accident insurance and we also need a system to register children born with a disability," said Mishra.

He has also suggested that there be a sports facility for them while schools should have special arrangements and specially trained teachers to teach children with disabilities.

Source: Times of India

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