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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 2010 Issue



NGO launches campaign on legal rights of disabled people

New Delhi, Sep 27: A unique initiative to empower disabled people and assist them in exercising their legal rights was today launched by an NGO in the national capital. Under the year–long 'Supported Decision Making' programme, a group of 20 adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD) will be given "decision making" assistance by developing a network of people close to them like family, friends or other immediate community members. "The assistance will be mainly to assist her/him in planning for their future and to help them avail their legal capacity.

The 2006 UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNCRPD) recognises legal capacity of all persons, regardless of their disability," said J P Gadkari, President, 'PARIVAR'. "Our aim is to integrate the disabled into mainstream society and to create awareness about rights of the people having intellectual and developmental disabilities," he said, adding the results will be presented to the government and National Trust for adoption.

Source: http://ibnlive.in.com

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Survey revealed continuing access problems in transportation

GUWAHATI, Sept 26 ? Assam might have made some strides in the field of transportation, but for a section of people it offers no opportunity to travel in a mode that is safe, comfortable and dignified. The elderly and the physically challenged, who have specific physical needs, find the going tougher than ever.

A pioneering survey by the Disability Law Unit of Shishu Sarothi, a Guwahati–based centre for rehabilitation and training for multiple disability, has revealed how one of the most vulnerable sections of society has been deprived of rights, which others can take for granted.

There is absence of 'universal design' in almost all major modes of transport resulting to serious inconvenience to senior citizens and disabled people. A lack of basic facilities in buses, trains, and at transit points was revealed by the study.

Absence of disabled–friendly infrastructure was noticed in major transport hubs like Guwahati Railway Station and Inter State Bus Terminus. In both the busy facilities, the disabled would confront severe hurdles in getting assistance.

In the case of Guwahati Railway Station, any disabled person or a person on wheelchairwould have a harrowing experience to move from platform one to other platforms in the absence of a lift.

Although the busiest train station of Northeast India has seen major augmentation in recent times, no thought was given to the need for a lift or escalator. Today the aged, the infirm, and the disabled have to climb up and down a flight of stairs before they can move between platforms. Or else, choose a more bizarre option. Arman Ali of Shishu Sarothi said, "On one occasion I had to sit on a wheelchair that was carried over the tracks till I reached my platform. It was dangerous, uncomfortable, and undignified."

Like elsewhere in the country, the existing design of passenger coaches has not helped the elderly and the disabled. Access to water and toilets continue to challenge such passengers. "I found rail travel very frustrating because using the toilet on a moving train was a nightmare," said Runu Medhi, a physically challenged woman working in an NGO.

The recently operational ISBT also did not fare well in the Shishu Sarothi survey, as assistance for the elderly and disabled was hard to come by. A lack of signs and information kiosks was noticed in the facility from which long distance coaches operate.

In and around Guwahati, one of most common problems for the elderly and the disabled emerges from flawed bus and bus stop designs. Almost all the buses have steep steps that they find hard to climb, made more tricky by the rush of people who are boarding or disembarking.

Today, there is no way an unaccompanied elderly or disabled person can safely board or exit from a city bus. The risk is considerable and real, the survey observed. Commenting on the situation, Arman Ali said that it was time the authorities woke up and started making interventions. The rights of the elderly and the disabled need to be respected, he noted.

Source: http://www.assamtribune.com

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Survey on disabled people in Jaipur soon

JAIPUR, Sep 17: For the first time the state government will start a survey of disabled people in Rajasthan so that they could be granted pensions. People with any of the seven types of disabilities will be covered under the scheme that is to be run by the state's social justice and empowerment department.

Chief minister Ashok Gehlot made this announcement at a workshop organised in the city on Thursday. "The government is committed to the welfare of the disabled. The department's annual budget this year is more than Rs 1,000 crore and it would be increased in the coming years," Gehlot said, announcing a number of schemes for the disabled and senior citizens.

While "day care" centres will be opened for the senior citizens, the government will provide Jaipur Foot, caliper or tri–cycles for the physically challenged people in association with the NGOs over the next three years. The government would issue certificates to the disabled once the survey, which is to begin within this fiscal, is completed.

"I am hopeful of identifying all the disabled in the state so that the welfare benefits can reach an additional 18 lakh to 20 lakh needy people," said Gehlot.

The CM pointed out that the state had already fixed a minimum amount of Rs 500 per month for all kinds of pensions granted by the department. "Citizens attaining the age of 75 will be granted a minimum pension of Rs 750 per month," he said.

Source: http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com

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Hearing–impaired youth wins UK scholarship

CHENNAI, Sep 09: Tracing his family history to three generations yielded no answers to 25–year–old B S R Rajaram on his congenital hearing impairment. One of the eight national winners of the British Council IELTS Scholarship Awards, Rajaram now hopes his master's degree in Sound and Vibration Studies from the University of Southampton will help shed some light on his condition.

"I did not use a hearing aid in school because technology had not advanced very much at the time. However, the situation improved by the time I began working as a software engineer three years ago. I worked on the area of digital signal processing (DSP) during this period. I will branch out into applied DSP in the second semester of my master's degree as a specialisation. I hope this course will act as a stepping stone to help me make a mark in the hearing aids industry," the award–winner from Karnataka said after the distribution ceremony here on Tuesday. The award contributes Rs 3 lakh towards the tuition fee of each of the winners.

Hearing impaired since birth, Rajaram said his condition "is peculiar" when compared to the average cases. "I can hear without my hearing aids but I cannot hear high–frequency sounds like the ring of a mobile phone, cooker whistle or even a female voice sometimes," he said.

With hearing loss of 75–78% in both ears, Rajaram said he coped with studying in a regular school by sitting in the first bench and by lip– reading his teachers' instructions. "I found it harder in college because our teachers would keep moving around. I would approach them after class to get my doubts cleared. I would go home and study everyday to remain up–to–date," he added. His sister, Sriraksha, who studies in class XII, is hearing impaired as well with hearing loss of 86%.

"We have no idea why this happened because no one else in my family has hearing problems. This is another reason why I am motivated to pursue my studies in this area. I want to try and find out why I have it," Rajaram said.

Sibi Arasu, alumnus of Loyola College, who worked as a journalist for two years was the award winner from Tamil Nadu. He is set to pursue his master's degree in Culture Studies at Goldsmith College, UK. Mike Nithavrianakis, British Deputy High Commissioner, Chennai, said approximately 40,000 Indian students chose to pursue their UG and PG programmes in the UK every year. The IELTS awards are also being awarded in three other countries with a total investment of 60,000 euros or Rs 42,00,000, authorities said.

Source: http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com

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NHRC releases book on rights of persons with disabilities

NEW DELHI, Sep 03: National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) chairman, Justice K.G. Balakrishnan, on Sept. 3, released a book that focuses on the rights of persons with disabilities.

The book titled "Convention on Rights of Persons with Disabilities – A guide by Commonwealth Secretariat" was released in the presence of a host of luminaries and key members of the NHRC.

An NHRC release said that it has been deeply concerned about the protection and promotion of rights of persons with disabilities. The Commission is of the view that the persons with disabilities should enjoy all human rights on an equal basis with others. Towards this end, the Commission has adopted a multi–pronged approach which includes redressal of individual complaints, legislative and policy reform, spreading of awareness etc.

The Commission has been involved since the formative stages of the UN Convention on Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD). The Commission advocated the ratification of the UN convention and finally the Government of India ratified the Convention on 1st October 2007.

As a follow up action, the Commission appointed a Special Rapporteur on Disability related issues and constituted a Core Advisory Group on Disability to advise the Commission on matters connected with and incidental to the promotion, protection and monitoring of the human rights for persons with disabilities.

With a view to assess whether existing Programmes and Policies for persons with disabilities are having the desired impact and to identify gaps in implementation, if any, and to suggest appropriate strategies to deal with them, the Commission organized five Regional review meetings on Disability during 2008–09 in various parts of the country.

The Commission has advocated to the Government of India for the ratification of Optional Protocol to the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. The Commission is of the view that the Optional Protocol will strengthen the accountability mechanism and serve as an additional tool for the promotion of the rights of persons with disabilities.

The Commission reviewed The Copy Right (Amendment) Bill, 2010 from Human Rights perspective and noted that it does not meet the demand of print disabled person. With a view to protect the rights of the print disabled people, the Commission made recommendations for amendments in The Copy Right (Amendment) Bill, 2010 which is being examined by the Parliamentary Standing Committee.

With a view to monitor the implementation of various laws, policies, concerning the rights of the persons with disabilities, Special Rapporteurs, NHRC have been visiting various states. The Commission has also asked all the State Governments to give wide publicity to UNPRCD to create awareness regarding the rights of persons with disabilities.

The book enumerates various provisions of the Convention in a very simple and informative manner. It not only clarifies that States should not discriminate against persons with disabilities, but also sets out the many steps that States must take to create an enabling environment so that persons with disabilities can enjoy real equality in society.

Further, this book is also accessible to the persons with visual impairments. This publication has been released simultaneously at the four centers around the world by the Commonwealth Secretariat. In recognition of the work done by NHRC in the field of protecting and promoting Human Rights of persons with disabilities, NHRC is selected as one of the four institutions for releasing this book.

Source: http://news.oneindia.in

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