New Delhi, December 15: Rajya Sabha on Wednesday unanimously passed the Rights for Persons with Disability (RPwD) Bill. Like to tell you that, this bill was in waiting since six years. The primary aim of Persons Disability bill is to provide safety and empowerment to all the disabled people of country. After this very important bill passed disabled communities and their representatives across the country applauded the move.
Rights for Persons with Disability (RPwD) Bill, have a law of up to two-year jail term and a maximum fine of Rs 5 lakh for discriminating against differently-abled persons. The bill will help counter the challenges faced by the disabled community in India. While the earlier iteration of the bill (1995) only recognised 7 disabilities, the new act includes 21 disabilities. The bill also will put a lot of onus on accessibility to other facilities and make India as a nation more disability friendly.
Interestingly, this bill was moved in Upper House earlier this month by Social Justice Minister Thaawar Chand Gehlot, also gives effect to the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and related matters.
Important features of the bill are as follows:
1) Responsibility of government to take effect measures to ensure that persons with disabilities enjoy same rights as everyone else.
2) Every child with disability will have right to free education.
3) Proposal to increase in reservation from 3% to 4% for students with benchmark disabilities in higher educational institutions.
4) Proposal of a national fund to provide financial support to persons with disabilities.
5) The definition of disability isn’t kept rigid and is based on an evolving and dynamic concept.
6) To strengthen PM’s Accessible India Campaign, to ensure accessibility in public buildings in a prescribed time-frame.
7) Grant of guardianship by District Court which will allow joint decision-making between guardian and person with disabilities.
8) Strong penalties for offences against persons with disabilities, with a maximum penalty of Rs 5 lakh and imprisonment of two years.
9) Broad based Central & State Advisory Boards have been proposed to be set up as policy making bodies.
10) Proposal to strengthen office of Chief Commissioner of Persons with Disabilities and State Commissioners of Disabilities, which will act as regulatory bodies and Grievance Redressal agencies and monitor implementation of the Act.
11) Additional benefits have been provided for people with benchmark disabilities and those with high support needs.
12) The 21 disabilities are: Blindness, Low-vision, Leprosy Cured persons, Hearing Impairment (deaf and hard of hearing), Locomotor Disability, Dwarfism, Intellectual Disability, Mental Illness, Autism Spectrum Disorder, Cerebral Palsy, Muscular Dystrophy, Chronic Neurological conditions, Specific Learning Disabilities Multiple Sclerosis, Speech and Language Disability, Thalassemia, Haemophilia, Sickle Cell disease, Multiple Disabilities, Acid Attack victims and Parkinson's disease.
Like to tell you that, it was the first time in the winter session of Rajy Sabha despite of uproar due to demonetization any of the bill was passed. Whereas Javed Abidi, Convener of Disabled Rights Group said, "The Bill will now be sent to the Lok Sabha and we are positive that it will be passed in the Lower House too during the Winter Session itself."