Protests against Disability Rights Bill in Delhi

Scores of differently-abled people and activists on Monday took out a rally here, demanding inclusion of certain amendments in the Disability Rights Bill before passing it in Parliament.

New Delhi: Scores of differently-abled people and activists on Monday took out a rally here, demanding inclusion of certain amendments in the Disability Rights Bill before passing it in Parliament.

The Disabled Rights Group said the Bill in its current form militates against the norms of UN convention on the rights of persons with disabilities and demanded redefining `disability` and universalisation of the disability certificate.

"We hope that the Bill with suggested amendments will be tabled in Parliament and opposition parties will cooperate and help with its smooth passage," DRG convenor Javed Abidi said.

"The definition of disability in the Cabinet approved bill takes us back to the medical model. We have suggested recognition of legal capacity of persons with disability, one of the main features of UNCRPD," he said.

Recently, a leaked copy of the Rights of Persons with Disabilities Bill, 2011, approved by the Cabinet had created a furore among activists who called it a "watered down" version of what the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment had put up on its website.

"We felt cheated on reading the diluted version of the Bill which militated against the norms of UN convention on the rights of persons with disabilities. We identified 20 shortcomings and suggested amendments," Abidi said.

The disability activists had met Leader of the Opposition in Rajya Sabha Arun Jaitley and CPI(M) General Secretary Prakash Karat, who had extended support for the bill when it was tabled in Parliament.

They had also met Law Minister Kapil Sibal and Social Justice and Empowerment Minister Mallikarjun Kharge yesterday regarding the suggested amendments to the Bill.

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