Alleging that all political parties are neglecting the interest of persons with disabilities (PWD), Bharatiya Divyang Sangathan (BDS) has demanded that all political parties field at least two persons with disabilities in the parliamentary as well as state elections to bring this segment of the population into the national political mainstream. The Sangathan also accused Prime Minister Narendra Modi of not doing anything for their uplift, excepting giving them a new term ‘divyang’. Click here for more election news
Addressing mediapersons here on Tuesday, BDS national president Amit Kumar said that while all political parties took cognisance of even after groups with just one per cent of the total votes of the country, none were bothered about PWDs accounting for three per cent of the nation’s population as per the 2011 census. Unfortunately, PWDs were not united and hence did not have a voice to grab the attention of the political parties.
Stating that the uplift of people with disabilities was not possible without bringing them into the political mainstream, Kumar said if there could be separate reservation for women in local bodies for women empowerment, a similar law must be passed for persons with disabilities as well. He said it was imperative to empower this most vulnerable section who did not have a voice and were looked down upon by society and contemptuously called langda (lame), bahra(deaf), andha (blind) and goonga(mute), depending on their disability.
Kumar also demanded Rs 8,000 per month as pension for persons with disabilities and reservation in jobs, for eg lift operators. He also said a card should be issued for people with disabilities, which should be accepted by authorities for free bus and train travel and subsidised air fare, free medical treatment and financial assistance in setting up their own businesses.