GUWAHATI, Feb 12 - A regional seminar on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities Act, 2016, was today organised by Shishu Sarothi in partnership with the National Centre for Promotion of Employment for Disabled People (NCPEDP) here with support from Mphasis.
It has almost been two years now since the Rights of Persons with Disabilities Act, 2016, came into force, and there is a whole lot that needs to be done for the law to take off. The impact of the Act lies in its implementation and unless there is enough awareness on the said Act, the same would not be effectively implemented and rights will never translate into reality. Raising awareness on the said law is thus very critical and core to realising the rights of people with disabilities.
The seminar witnessed participation of over a hundred stakeholders from seven north-eastern states, including persons with disabilities, representatives of disabled people’s organisations and parents’ association, government officials, special educators, law students, NGO representatives, guardians and students with disabilities.
Arman Ali, executive director, NCPEDP, and Rajive Raturi, head, law and policies, NCPEDP, were the key resource persons at the seminar along with Amvalika Senapati, disability law unit, Shishu Sarothi.
Kausar Hilaly, Assam State Commissioner for Persons with Disabilities, taking part in the discussions spoke at length about the initiatives taken by the State for implementation of the Act and apprised the gathering that the final draft of the Assam State Rules was ready and that it should be publicly notified within a couple of months.
The seminar provided a platform for detailed deliberations on the rights framework of the RPD Act and the expanded scope and ambit of the said law vis-à-vis the earlier disability law of 1995.
Besides discussions on the rights and entitlements envisaged under the RPD Act for persons with disabilities and the mandate of the State to create awareness, ensure barrier-free environment and for human resource development, many pertinent issues came up from the stakeholders for deliberations.
Ketaki Bardalai, executive director, Shishu Sarothi, said that it was important for the people with disabilities to know about the provisions and the paradigm shift in the new law so that they could enjoy their rights and entitlements accordingly.
Arman Ali appealed to the participants to rethink and broaden their own approach to issues relating to persons with disabilities and went on to emphasise that the change needs to start from the grassroots so that every person with a disability could contribute positively towards bringing in that transformation.