Activists call for Parliament to pass the Disability Rights Bill


Disability rights groups are holding a candle light vigil on the eve of New Year in major cities in India demanding that the Parliament reconvene and pass the Disability Rights Bill

By Team FI

Disability rights activists have called for a candle light vigil across the country on December 31, to raise awareness and create a political will that will ensure a legislative guarantee for the Rights of People with Disability to be protected.

In a statement issued by the disability rights organisations, activists stated that they are deeply anguished over the manner in which the political class has consistently ignored the pleas of 70 million Indians with disabilities as they are simply not a vote bank.

In 2007, India signed and ratified the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. As a consequence of ratification India was to modify its domestic laws to bring them in consonance with the Convention.

It took four years, from 2007 to 2011, to create the draft of the Rights of Persons with Disabilities Bill. However, it was finally approved by the Cabinet on 12th December, 2013. With the Parliament being adjourned sine die last week, the hope of having the bill passed was lost.

Activists fear that Parliament may not reconvene for legislative business anytime early next year with the General Elections on the horizon and this would mean that their effort over the last six years will “will go down the drain and the Disability Rights Bill will get consigned to the dustbin of history.”

They feel that if following the example of the Lokpal Bill, the Congress and the Opposition come together and show some political will, the Parliament can be reconvened in January and the Disability Rights Bill can be tabled and perhaps even be passed.

The Disability Rights Bill is apolitical. It will ensure rights for persons with disabilities instead of charity. All that is needed is for the Parliament to be convened even for a day so that the Bill can be tabled and secured

The statement have put out a call for the citizens of India to join them in mobilising a campaign that would ensure that the Disability Rights Bill gets converted to a Disability Rights Act.

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