Draft policy for the disabled should be backed with budgetary allocations, monitoring mechanisms: NGO

NEW DELHI, June 15: A disability rights group has expressed its disappointment with the draft National Policy for Persons with Disabilities, saying merely having a policy document sans budgetary support and monitoring mechanisms would not suffice.
“A genuine attempt to inject new directions and initiatives seems to be missing” in the draft policy, the National Platform for the Rights of the Disabled (NPRD) said.
Promoting Atmanirbhar Bharat in the disability sector, bringing out a dynamic database to provide information on a real-time basis and better engagement of Ayush research and care to address this sector are among the salient features of the draft policy.
The Department of Empowerment of Persons with Disabilities under the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment has invited comments on the draft policy from stakeholders by July 9.
The NPRD said major portions of the draft policy are devoted to reiterating what is already spelt out in the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities or mandated by the Rights of Persons with Disabilities Act, 2016 (RPD Act) or programmes/schemes already operating.
The NPRD said the draft should have called for remedying the situation. “However, it does not do so, even while implementation of the mandates of the RPD Act would require substantial allocations. No increase in the Centre’s contribution towards disability pension is recommended, which continues to be at a pittance of Rs. 300 per month,” it noted.
Even while the connection between poverty and disability is acknowledged in the draft, no concrete measures are suggested for poverty alleviation, the NPRD said. (PTI)
The draft, even while taking cognisance of the burden of disability related costs, does not push for the 25 per cent additional allocations that the RPD Act mandates or for providing other means of support, the NGO noted.
The NPRD said the implementation of various provisions of the RPD Act has been tardy.
“In fact the Central Government had even exempted certain central police forces from the purview of job reservations, giving a go-by to the concept of reasonable accommodation. Offices of the Chief Commissioner for Persons with Disabilities, the National Trust and the Rehabilitation Council of India are without chairs for the past many years,” the NPRD said.
It said merely having a policy document as a reference point would not suffice and it has to be backed with budgetary allocations and monitoring mechanisms to track its implementation. (PTI)