A new draft law for disabled suggests reservation for them in legislative bodies, up to 7% reservation in government jobs and a right-based approach for different groups. However, the draft still falls short of expectations.
The committee constituted to frame the Rights of the Persons with Disabilities, 2011, has also told the Centre that a new ministry to look into issue of disabled should be set up and all ministries should have a cell for disabled people. It also wants some reservation in elected bodies for disabled so that they can be heard.
“It is a progressive step but full of shortcomings,” said Javed Abidi of Disabled Rights Group, an NGO that campaigns for rights of disabled people. “They want special schools for disabled to be continued instead of mainstreaming their education with other children. It may be because some of the members of the committee run special school for disabled.”
In a major change proposed, the panel wants that there should be 1% reservation in jobs for seven different categories of disabled people, meaning that an increase from 3 to 7%.
But in 15 years of existing law, the government has not been able to provide more than 1% of total jobs to the people suffering from different disabilities.
For the first time the law provides for right-based approach covering education, health, social security and specific needs of women and children.
The draft law prescribes disabled women’s right to home, family, justice and disabled children right to health, sports, leisure and government facilities. It also wants the Centre to ensure right to life, basic facilities and guardianship.
A new controversial provision has also been added which says the disabled people will have a right to protect their fertility. “No person with disability should be subjected to medical procedure, which leads to infertility without consent,” the draft law says.
The draft also seeks to set up a district-level authority to look into complaints against violation of the law.