Two-and-a-half-years after Rights of Persons with Disabilities Act (RPWD) was implemented, Delhi government has become the first to constitute a six-member state-level committee on ‘research on disability’. As mandated under the Act, no research can be carried out with disability as a subject of research without permission from this panel.
The committee comprises Persons with Disabilities (PwD), with the Dean of Maulana Azad Medical College (MAMC) being its chairperson. It will be in place for three years.
“There were seven categories of disabilities under the Act earlier, but the new Act has extended the number to 21. This committee will monitor all kinds of research being conducted on disabled persons,” Delhi Social Welfare Minister Rajender Pal Gautam told The Indian Express.
The Act covers research done on participants with locomotor disabilities, visual/hearing/ speech disability, intellectual (down syndrome, autism), thalassemia, hemophilia, sickle cell disease, Parkinson’s, multiple sclerosis, mental illness, blindness as well as learning disabilities.
“Several research projects are being carried out on the subject and the purpose of the committee is to keep a tab on all of them. At present, every medical college has an ethical committee, but those mandated under the Act are above all,” said Dr Satendra Singh, associate professor, University College of Medical Sciences, GTB, and a member of the committee.