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Disabilities Bill to be tabled in Parliament next month, says Sonia

There is a need to develop self confidence among the disabled, Sonia Gandhi said.

New Delhi |
January 16, 2014 5:00:11 am
Physically challenged children perform at the inauguration of Samarth on Wednesday. Physically challenged children perform at the inauguration of Samarth on Wednesday.

A bill that seeks to provide disabled persons five per cent reservation in public sector jobs will be brought for passage in the upcoming Parliament session in February, Congress president Sonia Gandhi said on Wednesday.

“The Disability Act of 1995 is being amended to meet the norms of the United Nations convention on the rights of persons with disabilities. Union Cabinet has given its nod to the amendments. I have full faith that we will be able to pass it in the next session,” Gandhi said addressing a gathering at ‘Samarth-2014’ organised by the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment.

In December last year, the Union Cabinet had approved the Rights of Persons with Disabilities Bill to replace the Persons with Disabilities (Equal Opportunity Protection of Rights and Full Participation) Act of 1995.

The Bill covers a variety of issues relating to disabled persons such as physical, mental and multiple disabilities.

Sonia Gandhi said there was a need to link the issues of the disabled with the mainstream of the society and the government and make their development a key component of policies.

She said it was the solidarity of the disabled that should be given credit if the government and society has made some progress in providing opportunities to disabled people.

“There is a need to develop self confidence among the disabled… we have to still make a lot of effort to ensure them human rights and freedom,” Sonia Gandhi said, while noting that the issues of disabled people were being treated only as medical issues.

She also noted that a social model had replaced the medical model. “The disabled persons should not be kept aloof from society. We will have to ensure that they make their place within the mainstream of society and become its integral part.”

In her address, Minister of Social Justice and Empowerment Kumari Selja underlined the role of media in creating awareness on disability issues.
Meanwhile, a visually impaired person, who recited a poem, drew the attention of Sonia Gandhi, saying Haryana Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda had promised to offer him a permanent job, but nothing had been done in that regard. He sought Sonia’s Gandhi’s intervention in the matter.

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