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Here’s why the new Disability Law is a game changer

The Cabinet has recently approved important changes to the Rights of Persons with Disabilities Bill, 2014, (RPWD) and it is expected the bill would be tabled and passed during the winter session of the Parliament. Ushering the Indian disability movement into a new age, the new law will repeal the old Disability Act, 1995.
• The Census 2011 states that India is home to 26.8 million people with disabilities. According to The World Bank, 15% of the world’s population is affected by some form of disability. Exclusion of disabled persons from the labour market leads to an annual loss of approximately 3-7% of the GDP.
• It is hoped that the proposed new law, a robust rights-based legislation with a strong institutional mechanism, shall ensure enjoyment of rights by persons with disabilities on an equal basis with the non-disabled citizens of India.
• It is another matter that within the disabled community, there are haves and have-nots. Historically, the three big disability groups – orthopaedically disabled, blind, and deaf – have benefitted from various entitlements. Other disability groups like people with intellectual disabilities, people with psychosocial disabilities, people affected by leprosy, and even those with cerebral palsy or autism by and large got nothing.
• This law will dramatically change that. There is a lot in the new law for the have-nots. And not just for the thus far neglected disabilities, but 14 more altogether new disabilities. The world would change for people with Thalassemia, Haemophilia, Muscular Dystrophy, Multiple Sclerosis, Learning Disabilities, etc.
• The new law would not only get many more job opportunities, but would also protection them from any harassment or discrimination.
Source: HT

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