Disability News India (DNI)
Disability News India (DNI), is a disability News service dedicated to providing a quality up-to-date information to the Indian Disability. DNI's news section is updated two times a week, though we also add breaking stories as and when they occur.
Disability News India – September 2008 Issue
- A school for disabled people in Jharkhand village
- ' Public buildings must be disabled– friendly '
- Boy born to mentally disabled woman finds new parents
- Cop beats up disabled man, complaint filed
- Union for disabled shuts down offices
- Visually– impaired stage protest
Ramgarh (Jharkhand), Sep 3: It' s a boarding school in Jharkhand
where almost every child dreams of becoming a doctor, teacher or
engineer. Yet it is no ordinary place – every student, teacher and staff
member there is a disabled person. The Rajrappa Disabled School in
Sukrigada village of Ramgarh district, with its 150 students in Classes
1 to 10, has become a source of inspiration to physically and mentally
Every morning, the school is abuzz with the chorus of students, some of whom are paralysed in their hands and legs or have lost their limbs in accidents.
Avanti Kumari, a Class 9 student who hails from Ghahari village in Bokaro, has been there for the last eight years. Her parents died when she was just two. At the age of three she was afflicted with polio, but the school has helped keep her spirits intact.
" I want to become a teacher to serve disabled people back in my village," she told.
Arvind Kumar Mahto, a resident of Salvanda village in Ranchi, also studies there. A mentally disabled boy, his parents virtually dumped him at the school three years ago. And now he doesn' t want to go back. " I don' t want to go to my parents' house. I am fine here. I want to help deprived people," said Arvind. Like Arvind and Avanti Kumari, most students at the schools want to become teachers, engineers, doctors and want to serve people in the state. All the staff members are disabled people. But that doesn' t stop them from doing anything. Buying cereals and vegetables, cooking the food and everything else required to keep the school running is done by the disabled themselves. The school management charges no fees, and the food and lodging are free. The Rajrappa school, located 50 km from state capital Ranchi, was started way back in 1997 by a group of four disabled people with just eight students. Students from Bokaro, Ranchi, Hazaribagh, Jamshedpur and other districts come to study there.
It is the brainchild of Bhuneshwar Mahto and Deodhar Karmali. Mahto was working with a private security firm in Ranchi. In 1983 when he was travelling in an auto– rickshaw, it collided with an ambulance. In the accident his right leg was badly damaged. Doctors had to amputate it to save his life and Mahto was bedridden for three months.
" Life had become difficult for me. I could feel the burden on my family members. I had to depend on others for everything and used to be depressed," said Mahto.
But things changed when he met another disabled person, Deodhar Karmali, who too had lost his legs in an accident.
In 1987, they approached government officials for handicapped certificates that are helpful in getting admission in schools, colleges, hospitals and for jobs. But the officials said no handicapped person lives in the area.
Karmali and Mahto started surveying the disabled in the area. Around 30 handicapped people were brought under one banner and then they met government officials. After struggling for two years, the government officials issued handicapped certificates in 1989 to several of them. But even then no government support reached them.
In 1996, Govind Prasad Verma, a vetenary doctor, donated land in Sukrigada village, which was then part of Hazaribagh district. Now the village is part of Ramgarh district.
The same year, the school was started there with one room and eight disabled students. Now the school has 16 rooms and 10 teachers. There are 13 staff members, including 10 teachers.
The school provides clothes, books and other things to students and it manages everything on the money donated by individuals and NGOs. In the last 11 years, the Jharkhand government has given Rs.240,000 in assistance to the school.
" Someone has to take the lead to fight for disabled people. We cannot depend on the government for education and jobs," said Karmali, president of the school.
" Our effort is to produce good human beings at our school. Only a good human being can serve society and the country. We are also trying to make our students capable of rubbing shoulders with general students."
Source: http://www.thaindian.com/Back to Top
MUMBAI, 2 Sep: The state government, despite having a law that public buildings
should be disabled– friendly, has never followed it on ground.
On Monday, the state shot off letters to all the municipal corporations,
including Mumbai, to ensure that new public utility buildings are
sanctioned after they incorporate facilities necessary for disabled people.
The state government had made it mandatory to have disabled– friendly facilities in public buildings through Section 37/1 of the Maharashtra Regional Town Planning (MRTP) Act in December 2003 after a host of requests from social organisations and court directives. This law was applicable to public utility structures like malls, theatres, hospitals, schools, colleges, bus stops, stations and all government offices.
Unfortunately, the law was seldom implemented. The state government was conscious of this fact.
Against this backdrop, the state urban development department (UDD) on Monday shot off letters to all civic bodies, including ' A' class municipal councils with a population of up to three lakh to implement the law on disabled– friendly structures in toto. The UDD has sought a compliance letter by September 15.
T C Benjamin, principal secretary (UD), confirmed that the government has asked civic bodies to ensure that public buildings have facilities suited for the disabled. " Lots of groups have approached us with complaints that few buildings have such facilities despite the law. The letter insists that new building proposals should incorporate features necessary for disabled people,' ' he said.
Sources said the letter points out that disabled friendly structures should include ramps of a particular height with rough surfaces at all the entrances. Moreover, these buildings should have broad passages so that disabled people are able to move freely without bumping into others. Special arrangements should also be made in toilets to provide them with support. Lastly, its mandatory for such buildings to have separate lifts reserved specifically for disabled people.
" Most developers shy away from giving these additional facilities to save on costs. Just because the disabled are an unorganised lot, violations should not continue,' ' said a UD official.
Source: http://timesofindia.indiatimes.comBack to Top
Noida: A boy born to a mentally disabled woman in the Noida district hospital on July 17 will be adopted by a Delhi– based couple on Friday.
Even as a senior official confirmed the adoption, the identity of the couple was not disclosed by the district administration.
The mother, who was mentally disabled person, vanished from the district hospital in July itself, and the hospital, after consulting with the district magistrate and city magistrate, handed over the child to a private medical clinic and nursery in the city.
Newsline had reported last month that a mentally disabled woman had given birth and her baby had been put up for adoption by the district authorities, who feared the mother might hurt it.
" The child was put under the care of Satya Medical Centre, located in Sector– 34, as they had a nursery for new– born babies. Now, formalities regarding the adoption of the child have been completed and a couple will be taking the baby home tomorrow," City Magistrate Surinder Ram said.
Narendra Gupta, a senior doctor with the medical centre, also confirmed that the baby boy was handed over to them on August 12. " We have been telling the administration to hand over the child to a responsible couple, as new– borns are infection prone. If a healthy baby remains for long with other kids, who are not that healthy, he or she is likely to get an infection too," Gupta said.
The administration, however, failed to take care of his mother. According to Chief Medical Superintendent of the District Hospital S C Singhal the hospital did not have enough resources to take care of the mentally disabled woman.
The staff could not trace the mother who disappeared, leaving her baby behind.
" I do not know how she left the hospital. The hospital does not have an adequate number of guards, who could have stopped her from venturing out of the hospital," Singhal said. Neither the law enforcement agencies nor the administration was able to track down the family of the woman.
Singhal' s statements come in the wake of the UP government allocating Rs 400 crore for the upgrade of the district hospital. Chief Minister Mayawati had announced a few months ago that the hospital would soon attain the status of a multi– specialty hospital.
Source: http://www.expressindia.comBack to Top
CHENNAI: M Ramesh, the Villupuram district president of the Tamil Nadu association for the welfare of the physically handicapped, on Tuesday met city police commissioner R Sekar and urged him to take action against the subinspector of police who assaulted him at the Koyambedu bus terminus for allegedly answering his question while being seated.
According to the complaint of Ramesh, he had come to Chennai for meeting the association state president, TAP Varada Kutti, and holding discussions on issues related to the association. " I reached the Koyambedu bus terminus at 2.15 am and as there was no bus available to reach my destination , I decided to sleep on the platform. A constable came to the place and warned all the persons sleeping on the platform to move to another place. Obeying his orders, I woke up and started reading a newspaper. Soon after, a subinspector came to the spot along with a constable and asked me some questions. I answered him while sitting on the bench as I am disabled person . Following this, he abused me in filthy language and thrashed me with his lathi," Ramesh told.
In the melee, Rs 1,000 in cash that I had kept in my pocket was lost. " The sub– inspector also threatened me with dire consequences pointing out at the issue of the psycho killer."
Ramesh sought police action against the sub– inspector who abused him. The petition has been forwarded to the Thirumangalam assistant commissioner of police for further inquiry .
Source: http://timesofindia.indiatimes.comBack to Top
Imphal: The All Tribal Disabilities' Union, Manipur, which has been fighting for an increase in various allowances for disabled people, today forcibly closed down the offices of the state welfare department in the five hill districts.
The closure of the offices located in the headquarters of five hill districts marked the beginning of a series of agitation by the union of disabled people of Ukhrul, Chandel, Tamenglong, Senapati and Churachandpur districts.
" This is only the beginning. If the government continues to cold shoulder our demands, we will launch a series of agitation," president of the union, Momo Tatanga, told a news conference here this afternoon.
The next phase of agitation would be a 48– hour general strike throughout Manipur from 6pm of September 5. He said the union would decide the further course of action after the bandh.
The union is demanding an increase in annual financial assistance, unemployment allowances and scholarships for the physically challenged.
Reports said volunteers of the union locked up district social welfare offices and prevented officials from entering the offices.
" We will close the offices indefinitely and reopen them only after a response from the government," Tatanga said.
The closure of the offices came after requests by the union to the Okram Ibobi Singh government fell on " deaf" ears.
" After waiting for five days in vain to meet the chief minister, I met social welfare minister L. Loken Singh on August 12 to present our case. The minister was not even ready to listen to me and told me to meet his private assistant," the president said.
Manipur has a total of 29,000 disabled people according to a survey by the state social welfare department.
Of these 1,800 are in the hills. The union has more than 4,000 members all from the hill districts.
The union said there were many physically challenged people in the hills who are not recognised by the social welfare department.
The union is demanding bus fair concession as being done in other states. It also demanded setting up of a channelising agency in the state social welfare department for dealing with the problem of handicapped people.
Source: http://www.telegraphindia.comBack to Top
CHANDIGARH: Work at the Punjab secretariat was disrupted for two hours
on Monday as educated visually– impaired people blocked entry to the
They were protesting against the government' s apathy in giving them their due despite assurances by the chief minister. About 60 protesters were arrested in Sector 22 and later released.
Sainipal Singh, leading the protesters, said, " Visually– impaired have been given the right by an act to get 1% quota in jobs. But there are over 400 educated people in Punjab, who are unemployed because the government has refused to give us our due."
Joginder Singh, a visually– challenged graduate from Jalandhar, who teaches blind students privately merely for Rs 800 a month said, " Despite orders from the chief minister, bureaucrats are creating problems in giving us jobs because there is lack of faith in our capabilities and we do not have the backing of powerful people."
Claiming that the government is in the process of meeting their demands, Harjit Singh, secretary, social security Punjab informed TOI, " All decks have been cleared to recruit visually– impaired. Besides giving 1% reservation, we are also in the process of clearing the backlog."
A decision to this effect has been taken, said Harjit Singh, in a meeting convened last week. " The matter was sent for legal clearance and the same has been ratified making it possible for us now to recruit visually– impaired as per provisions of the Act."
However, not satisfied with the government' s assurances, Sainipal Singh said, " We have been hearing these assurances for the past 45 days, but nothing seems to be moving. We are still jobless and all that we get are hollow assurances."
Source: http://timesofindia.indiatimes.comBack to Top
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