Ms. Shreya Madali, Advocate with Team Autism Connect Association
What can be a better news to end the year 2016 than having the Rights of persons with disabilities recognized!!.
There has always been a struggle to establish policies in the form of Laws and regulations for persons with disabilities in India. The endeavor has been a continued effort that dates back to the year 1996.
It is not only the law but the constant effort of certain individuals of the society to feel the need for persons with disabilities to be able to lead independent and fulfilling lives.
However, the most important aspect of this blog is awareness for Autism in terms of the “Rights of Persons with Disabilities Bill – 2016”.
Disability has been defined based on an evolving and dynamic concept in this bill. Types of disabilities have been increased from 7 to 21 in The Rights of Persons with Disabilities Bill.
Autism Spectrum Disorder has been an inclusion in the bill which is a win-win situation.
The advantages of the Bill that can be beneficial for persons for Autism along with other disabilities are-
- Responsibility has been cast upon the appropriate governments to take effective measures to ensure that the persons with disabilities enjoy their rights equally with others.
- Additional benefits such as reservation in higher education, government jobs, reservation in allocation of land, poverty alleviation schemes etc. have been provided for persons with benchmark disabilities and those with high support needs.
- Every child with benchmark disability between the age group of 6 and 18 years shall have the right to free education
- Government funded educational institutions as well as the government recognized institutions will have to provide inclusive education to the children with disabilities.
- Office of Chief Commissioner of Persons with Disabilities of India has been strengthened , who will now be assisted by 2 Commissioners and an Advisory Committee comprising of not more than 11 members drawn from experts in various disabilities
- Similarly, the office of State Commissioners of Disabilities has been strengthened who will be assisted by an Advisory Committee comprising of not more than 5 members drawn from experts in various disabilities.
- The Chief Commissioner for Persons with Disabilities and the State Commissioners will act as regulatory bodies and Grievance Redressal agencies and also monitor implementation of the Act.
- Creation of National and State Fund will be created to provide financial support to the persons with disabilities. The existing National Fund for Persons with Disabilities and the Trust Fund for Empowerment of Persons with Disabilities will be subsumed with the National Fund.
- The Bill provides for penalties for offences committed against persons with disabilities and also violation of the provisions of the new law.
- Special Courts will be designated in each district to handle cases concerning violation of rights of Persons with Disabilities
The good news is that, the New Act will bring our law in line with the United National Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNCRPD), to which India is a signatory party.
This will help us fulfill the obligations as a nation on the part of India in terms of UNCRD and benefit our countrymen with disabilities have a sense of security and belonging. Further, the new law will not only enhance the Rights of Persons with Disabilities but also provide effective mechanism for ensuring their empowerment and true inclusion into the Society in a satisfactory manner so that they are given their rightful place in the society and thus it shall make be of a larger good to them.