Govt amending Disabilities Act

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New Delhi, Nov 21 (UNI) The Government is in the process of amending the Persons with Disability Act, 1995 to make it more effective, Minister of Social Justice and Empowerment Meira Kumar said here today.

Speaking at a joint workshop of the Ministry and the World Bank, Ms Kumar said her Ministry was following a consultative process for this purpose invloving stakeholders representing Disabled Peoples' Organisations, NGOs, experts of various disciplines and members of civil society.

She said the consultations with regard to proposed changes in the Act were held across the country to ensure that the concerns from different regions were adequately addressed when the Ministry proposed the amendments in the Act.

The Minister emphasised that people with disabilities were always involved in the process of policy and implementation framework through their organisations in Central as well as state coordination committees and also through Central and state executive committees, which are the highest policy making and monitoring bodies established under the Act.

Even in the management committees of the most of the institutions, the people with disabilities are always represented, she pointed out.

Referring to the UN Convention on the rights of people with disabilities, the Minister said it had brought out a number of new concepts like alternative mode of communication, concept of accessibility of information and communication technologies, including web access to PWDs and the concept of reasonable accommodation to enable them to be equal participant in all spheres of activities.

These concepts would be considered in due course and necessary changes in legislations, rules, policies and programmes of the Government would be made, she said.

However, Ms Kumar reminded the participants that the objective to empower the people with disabilities would be achieved only if those living in remote, inaccessible and rural areas and women and children with disabilities were given special attention.

''We have to bring them in mainstream and work towards improving their quality of life and ensure that they lead the life of dignity and self-respect'', she reiterated.

UNI

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