I don't trust asianage and its sources. The same daily spread rumours
few months ago about downgrading of the contents of the Bill. And it
only knows one source to quote.  Anyway, fingers crossed. The PIB
release informed us yesterday that the reservation has been proposed
to 4 per cent not 5 as envisaged earlier. And this report says its
gonna be 5 per cent. So many stories and many versions; the time is
all set to observe disability day!

The new draft bill proposes to expand the list of disabilities from seven to 21.
Parliament house, New Delhi (Photo: PTI)
 Parliament house, New Delhi (Photo: PTI)

New Delhi: After years of dilly dallying, the much-awaited Rights of
Persons with Disabilities (Divyangjan) Bill, 2014 is likely to be
taken up in the Rajya Sabha on Friday, on the eve of World Disability
Day. The new draft bill proposes to expand the list of disabilities
from seven to 21 and an increase in job reservation for persons with
disabilities from 3 per cent to 5 per cent, among others.

According to sources, the government, for the first time, has also
added disabilities/disabled persons like speech and language
disability and specific learning disability, acid attack victims,
thalassemia, haemophilia and sickle cell disease.

The types of disabilities that have been increased from existing seven
to 21 — with further powers to the Central government to add more
types of disabilities — include blindness, low-vision, leprosy cured
persons, hearing impairment (deaf and hard of hearing), locomotor
disability, dwarfism, intellectual disability, mental illness, autism
spectrum disorder, cerebral palsy, muscular dystrophy, chronic
neurological conditions, specific learning disabilities, multiple
sclerosis, speech and language disability, thalassemia, haemophilia,
sickle, cell disease, multiple disabilities, acid attack victim,
parkinson’s disease.

Even as sources revealed that the proposed bill was cleared by the
Cabinet on Wednesday with the Press Information Bureau (PIB) putting
it on their website. However, confusion started after the release was
withdrawn from the website Thursday morning.

Calling it a positive development, Javed Abidi, chairperson at the
Disabled People’s International (DPI), said that he was happy that the
“bill which was put in a cold storage is brought out. Over all it is a
good deal. “We should welcome it and should make sure that it becomes
the law of the land,” he said.

Avinash Shahi
Doctoral student at Centre for Law and Governance JNU

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