Disability Rights Bill not passed, worried activists stage protest

Activists said if the Bill is not cleared now, then it will be put in cold storage as this is the last Parliament session of UPA-II.

New Delhi | Published: February 21, 2014 3:52 am

Disability rights activists staged a protest outside the Congress and BJP offices, demanding that the Disability Rights Bill be passed in the ongoing Parliament session.

“Yesterday we witnessed an unfortunate incident in the Rajya Sabha. The Disability Rights Bill that we have all been advocating for was finally brought up for discussion. But immediately, a leader from the DMK stood up and asked the Deputy Chair of the House to refer it to the Standing Committee. The House was eventually adjourned over other issues. Today, the focus of the House was on Telangana. Parliament’s session will soon end. We are extremely worried about the paucity of time and want to urge the government to take up the matter,” Javed Abidi, Convenor, Disability Rights Group (DRG), said.

DRG has spent the last two months meeting different political leaders to garner support in passing the Disability Rights Bill.

“Severely challenged persons, parents and children have been spending days on the streets holding sit-ins and vigils to tell the leaders that the fate and lives of 70 million disabled citizens of the nation depends on their political will to pass this Bill. The Bill, which was introduced in the Rajya Sabha a week ago, if passed, will also have to go through Lok Sabha. But when will this even happen?” Abidi asked.

Earlier this week, the activists also met Congress president Sonia Gandhi and Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi, apart from senior leaders from BJP and Left parties, all of whom assured the group of their support.

If the Bill is not cleared now, then it will be put in cold storage for almost two years as this is the last Parliament session of UPA-II,” Abidi had earlier told Newsline.

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