Protest over government not tabling disability rights bill

New Delhi, Dec 19: Members of several organisations demanding rights for disabled people Thursday staged a protest against the government here for not introducing the Disability Rights Bill in parliament.

The bill was approved by the union cabinet Dec 12.

“We fought for and worked for this bill for four and a half years so that people with disability get the rights that they deserve. But there is lack of political will among the leaders who do not consider the disabled as vote bank,” said Javed Abidi, convenor of the Disabled Rights Group.

“Parliament was adjourned sine die Wednesday. If they knew they were going to do so, they should have brought the bill earlier. We want them to reconvene the session so that the bill can at least be tabled,” he added.

The new disability rights bill, apart from taking cognizance of other disabilities, promises an increase in quota for the disabled from three to five percent.

G. Syamala of Action for Ability Development and Inclusion, said the movement “won’t stop here halfway”.

“This is the launch and we will escalate the protest in front of the houses of the prime minister, the leader of opposition in Lok Sabha Sushma Swaraj, and will continue till our demands are met,” Syamala said.

India already has the Persons with Disabilities (Equal Opportunities, Protection of Rights and Full Participation) Act, 1995 but the disability groups do not want an amendment to the bill, but a new bill that guarantees rights for deaf, blind and people with psycho-social disability.

IANS