Reiterating its commitment towards empowerment and inclusion of disabled people, Prime Minister Narendra Modi recently said a centre would soon be established to develop Indian sign language.
Speaking ahead of the 9th World Assembly of the Disabled People’s International (DPI) that took place in New Delhi, Modi said:
My government is fully committed to the UN Convention of Rights for Persons with Disabilities, for achieving empowerment and inclusion of persons with disabilities. The cost of exclusion of people with disability from the workforce is 3-7 percent of the GDP, as per World Bank estimates. Initiatives such as ‘Accessibility India’ campaign aim to build an environment inclusive for persons with disabilities. We are also making Indian Railways accessible and starting a centre to develop Indian sign language.
The theme of the three-day event was “Building Human Capital: Realizing SDGs for Persons with Disabilities”. The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) were adopted by the UN in September 2015. The 17 goals and 169 targets aim to eradicate extreme poverty, among others. There are 11 mentions of disability in the entire document but none in the most crucial goals.
G3ict or Global Initiative for Inclusive Information and Communication Technologies is an advocacy initiative launched in December 2006 by the UN Global Alliance for ICT and Development, in cooperation with the Secretariat for the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities at UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs.
In March 2016, the government’s “Inclusiveness and Accessibility Index” — that measured actions and attitudes of organizations towards disabled employees — called for enabling access to them in buildings and workplaces, public transportation etc.