On 16th December, the Parliament passed the Rights of Person with Disability Bill (2014). The bill is in alignment with the United National Convention on Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNCRPD) and will replace the Persons with Disabilities (Equal Opportunities Protection of Rights and Full Participation) Act, 1995. Rajya Sabha members discussed and made 199 amendments to the bill. some of which are the addition of Speech and Language Disability, Parkinson’s Disease, disabilities caused due to acid attacks, Autism, blood disorders (Thalassemia, Haemophilia and Sickle Cell disease), Multiple Sclerosis, and Cerebral Palsy among others, expanding the list of disabilities from seven to nineteen.
Other changes include right to free education for every child with benchmark disability between the age of 6 to 18 and reservation in education, job and other schemes for individuals with benchmark disabilities (at least 40% disabilities). The education and job reservation has been raised from 3% to 4% and 5% respectively.
Delhi University’s commitment towards removal of physical barriers, easy access to study material, special equipments, counselling is yet to be a success with lack of disabled friendly toilets and inaccessible infrastructure, but with the Rights of Person with Disability Bill, the government has a two year deadline to ensure a barrier free access in all kinds of physical infrastructure and transport system.
The bill also address guardianship, creation of special courts to handle the cases concerning violation of rights, creation of national and state funds to provide financial support to differently abled individuals and penalties for offense committed against the individual with disabilities and also violation of the provision of new law.
Image credits: TOI