J&K begins process of setting up District-Level Committees for disability

No headway made in forming State-Level Committee

Irfan Tramboo
Srinagar, Aug 17: Government has finally set into motion the process of establishing the District-Level Committees for disability in the Union Territory of J&K, with districts like Anantnag, Kulgam, Srinagar, and Ganderbal having completed the entire process so far.
A few other districts of the Jammu division including the Jammu district have already formed such committees which have been tasked, as per the notification issued by the Government in March 2021 and in accordance with the Rights of Persons with Disabilities Act, 2016, to advise the district administration on the matters related to the persons with disabilities as well as to ensure the effective implementation of rules and laws.
Apart from District Anantnag, Kulgam, Srinagar and Ganderbal, Budgam has also set in motion the formation of such a committee which is going to have nearly 10 members from various departments along with a person with disabilities in accordance with the rules notified.
It is to be noted here that such committees are formed in terms of rule-39 of Disability Rule 2021 dated 1/03/2021 and work for a period of three 3 years.
As per the rules, the main functions of the District-Level Committees for disability include advising the district authorities on matters relating to rehabilitation and empowerment of persons with disabilities as well as monitoring the implementation of the provisions of the Act and the Rules.
These committees, as per the rules, have also been tasked to assist the District authorities in the implementation of schemes and programs of the Government for the empowerment of persons with disabilities.
The committees, thus constituted, will also look into the complaints relating to the non-implementation of the provisions of the Act by the District authorities and will also recommend suitable remedial measures to the concerned authority to redress such complaints.
As per the rules, such committees will also look into the appeal made by the employees of Government establishments aggrieved with the action taken by the District Level establishments under sub-section (4) of Section 23 of the Act, and accordingly recommend appropriate measures.
On the other hand, while the administration started the process of establishing District-Level Committees, there has not been any headway made so far in setting up the State-Level Committee for Disability in accordance with the Rights of Persons with Disabilities Act, 2016.
As per the Act, the State-Level Committee has a wide range of roles to play which includes advising the Government on various matters including policies and projects related to disability, apart from working towards developing state policy to address issues that the persons with disabilities face.
President, J&K Handicapped Abdul Rashid told Excelsior that the Government was not taking the establishment of the State-Level Committee seriously, and, he said, while the districts are setting up the committees, the UT administration has not so far taken any call on the matter which is more important.
“The State-Level Committee is the main body which takes up the cause of persons with disabilities with the concerned authorities and facilitates other services for them apart from monitoring and evaluate the impact of laws, policies,” he said, adding that the non-formation of the same in J&K was causing undue delay in ensuring the betterment of progress of the persons with disabilities in J&K, who, he said, have been facing the worst over the time.