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Disabilities Bill to be brought for passage in Lok Sabha next month

Wednesday, 15 January 2014 - 4:23pm IST | Agency: PTI

A bill that seeks to provide disabled persons five per cent reservation in public sector jobs will be brought for passage in the upcoming Parliament session in February, UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi said today.

"The Disability Act of 1995 is being amended to meet the norms of the UN convention on the rights of persons with disabilities. Union Cabinet has given its nod to the amendments. I have full faith that we will be able to pass it in the next session," Gandhi said addressing a gathering at 'Samarth-2014' organised by the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment.

In December last year, the Union Cabinet had approved the Rights of Persons with Disabilities Bill to replace the Persons with Disabilities (Equal Opportunity Protection of Rights and Full Participation) Act of 1995. The bill covers a variety of issues relating to the disabled persons such as physical, mental and multiple disabilities.

Gandhi said there is a need to link the issues of the disabled with the mainstream of the society and the government and make their development a key component of policies.

She further added that it is the solidarity of the disabled that should be given credit if the government and society has made some progress providing the disabled people opportunities. "There is a need to develop self confidence among the disabled... we have to still make a lot of efforts to ensure their human rights and freedom," she said, while noting that the issues of the disabled are now treated only as medical issues.

She noted that social model has replaced the medical model. "The disabled persons should not be kept aloof from the society. We will have to ensure that they make their place within the mainstream of the society and become its integral part."

In her address, Minister of Social Justice & Empowerment, Kumari Selja underlined the role of media in creating awareness on disability issues.

Meanwhile, a visually-impaired person, who recited a poem drew the attention of Sonia Gandhi, saying Haryana Chief Minister Bhoopinder Singh Hooda had promised to offer him a permanent job, which is yet to materialise, and sought her intervention. 

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