‘Existing law seems like charity to the disabled’ | mumbai | Hindustan Times
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‘Existing law seems like charity to the disabled’

Elevators must have a public address system for the visually challenged so they know which floor they are on.

mumbai Updated: Apr 25, 2010 01:32 IST
HT Correspondent

Elevators must have a public address system for the visually challenged so they know which floor they are on.

All religious places must have disabled-friendly facilities suck as ramps.

All movies must have sub-titles for the hearing impaired.

These are some of the inputs that disabled right activists want incorporated in the existing law.

On Saturday, approximately 120 activists from the National Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities brainstormed over various suggestions to be included in the Persons with Disabilities (Equal Opportunities, Protection of Rights and Full Participation) Act, 1995.

The two-day meet at the Worli-based National Association for the Blind is the outcome of a move by the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment to amend the Act shortly. Most representatives however prefer a new law rather than making amendments.

“The law is extremely patronising and seems like charity to disabled persons. It had a number of loopholes and is therefore up for amendment now,” said Javed Abidi, convenor of the Disabled Rights Group.

“Even though the ministry plans to make more than 100 amendments in the law, they have ignored some crucial issues.”

The Mumbai meet is the last leg of the nationwide meetings that started in October 2009.

The consultation aims at collecting the inputs of representatives across different disabilities on the requirements of the disabled community in various parts of the country with respect to the law.

Having drafted 17 chapters of what they feel would be a holistic law, the committee within one week will send them to the ministry.

“People who acquire disabilities while working in private companies are sacked without a second thought,” said Arvind Prabhoo, executive director of the Vijay Merchant Rehabilitation Centre for the disabled.

“The law does not provide people with accountability or equal opportunities,” he added.