February 14, 2016

Disability Rights Organisations Raise Concern

The National Platform for the Rights of the Disabled (NPRD) and National Federation of the Blind (NFB) have jointly issued the following statement on February 9. AMID reports in a section of the media that provisions of the Rights of Persons with Disabilities Bill, 2014 were proposed to be diluted by the Group of Ministers constituted to look into it, SK Rungta, general secretary of the National Federation of the Blind (NFB) and Muralidharan, secretary of the National Platform for the Rights of the Disabled (NPRD), met the union minister for social justice and empowerment, Thaawar Chand Gehlot at his office on February 9. While they expressed their concern over these reported moves, the minister denied that the Group of Ministers had made any recommendation for the removal of certain disabilities from the ambit of the Bill. He also contradicted reports that the GoM has recommended deletion of the provision of Disability Commission or made any other recommendation. He said that while some of the ministers who constituted the GoM had expressed their views on certain issues including on psychosocial disabilities, no decision on this or any matter has been taken yet. Gehlot also assured that the disability sector will be consulted when the ministry finalises its recommendations. While thanking the minister for clearing the air, the NPRD and the NFB would like to affirm that it would in unison with other disability rights organisations fight for strengthening the existing Bill and also against any attempt to dilute its provisions.