Five associations of people afflicted with disabilities have written to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, demanding reservation in jobs. Associations for people suffering from five disabilities — Hemophilia, Parkinson’s Disease, Thalassemia, Sickle Cell Disease and Multiple Sclerosis — sent a letter demanding reservation to the prime minister on July 30 via email and speedpost.
People with these disabilities, despite getting reservation in higher education, have been removed from reservation in jobs, the associations said. “It is like you are granted a driving licence with the caveat that you will never drive a vehicle, such exclusion of these five specified disabilities from reservation in jobs is violation of the basic spirit of United Nations Convention on the Right of Persons with Disabilities (UNCRPD),” the letter stated.
The number of disabilities for which reservation would be granted under the Rights of Persons with Disability Act, 2016 was increased to 21 and these five disabilities were part of it. Section 34 (1) of the Act talks about the 4 per cent job reservation for people with benchmark disabilites.
While enlisting the reservation in jobs, the section does not mention Chronic Neurological Conditions like Multiple Sclerosis and Parkinson’s disease and blood disorders such as Hemophilia, Thalassemia and Sickle Cell Disease.
“The benefits are enshrined in higher education, but taken away in jobs thereby defeating the whole purpose of empowerment. Recently, the administrative provisions of the national Act are being amended. In the same vein, the much needed tenets of UNCRPD need to be included in the Rights of Person with Disability Act by suitable amendments to grant reservation in jobs to benchmark disabilities,” the letter said.
The issue of reservation for people with the five disabilities came to light when a person named Reetesh Kumar Naik with Sickle Cell Disease from Chhattisgarh failed to get reservation and relaxation when he had applied for a job. Naik is also a signatory to the letter sent to the prime minister.
The letter also reminded Modi about creating awareness about Sickle Cell Disease by mentioning it in Parliament and stating that it is more dangerous than cancer.