The definition of disability as provided by the UN Convention on Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNCRPD) states that Persons with Disabilities include those who have long-term physical, mental, intellectual or sensory impairments which in interaction with various barriers may hinder their full and effective participation in society on an equal basis with others.
Salient features of the Bill
Disability has been defined based on an evolving and dynamic concept.
The types of disabilities have been increased from existing 7 to 21. It includes Speech and Language Disability, Specific Learning Disability, Acid Attack Victims, Dwarfism, muscular dystrophy. It also included three blood disorders: Thalassemia, Hemophilia and Sickle Cell disease have been added for the first time.
It seeks reservation in vacancies in government establishments has been increased from 3% to 4% for certain persons or class of persons with benchmark disability. In addition benefits such as reservation in higher education, government jobs, reservation in allocation of land, poverty alleviation schemes etc. have been provided for disabilities.
The bill claimed that every child with benchmark disability between the age group of 6 and 18 years shall have the right to free education. The government will fund educational institutions as well as the government recognized institutions to provide inclusive education to the children with reasonable accommodation to disables.
Special Courts will be designated in each district to handle cases concerning violation of rights of PwDs.
The Bill provides for penalties for offences(imprisonment of 6 months to 2 years along with fine of 10000 to 5 lakh) committed against persons with disabilities and also violation of the provisions of the new law.
The bill provides power to government to notify additional disabilities, a clear recognition of the need to factor in conditions that may arise as a result of an ageing population, an inevitable part of the demographic transition.
The new law will not only enhance the Rights and Entitlements of Divyang-Jan but also provide effective mechanism for ensuring their empowerment and true inclusion into the Society in a satisfactory manner.