In India, it is proposed to make punitive legal provisions flexible against crimes against the disabled. Amid preparations to remove stringent provisions from the criminal category, human rights organizations allege that this is ruthless.
The government argues that this will allow business activities to run smoothly and the burden on the courts will also be reduced. According to news reports, the government also believes that if the National Crime Records Bureau does not have any details of crimes against the disabled, there is no need for a provision of severe punishment. According to the government, according to the 2011 census, the population of persons with disabilities is 2.68 crore and they are 2.21 percent of the total population of the country. The category of persons with disabilities includes visually impaired, hearing impaired, speech impaired, orthopaedically handicapped and mentally challenged persons.
Many organizations associated with the rights of the disabled have strongly opposed these proposals, alleging that these amendments not only suppress the rights of the disabled, but also make their movement and presence in public places unsafe. The agitators have alleged that only ten days have been given for feedback, which is very less. Deadline is 10th of July.
Another complaint is that instead of just English, it needed to be published in all regional languages as well so that the message reaches as many people as possible. Then there are also those who cannot see, hear or speak – what about their feedback? And even now, the unprecedented crisis of Corona epidemic continues. The same thing happened with the Right to Information Act. Activists and experts allege that such amendments have been made in the rules related to service conditions, selection and obtaining information that the basic spirit of that law has disappeared. Now it is the turn of this law related to the rights of the disabled.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi had urged the use of the word ‘Divyang’ for physically challenged persons or persons with special abilities. There was also criticism that what a divinity in disability. The government came up with an act in 2016 which was named, the Rights of Persons with Disabilities Act 2016. But in English the name is Rights of Persons with Disabilities Act.
Between the suggestion of the word ‘Divyang’ and actions such as scissoring the rights of the disabled, New Zealand Prime Minister Jesinda Arden, who is known for her intentions and decisions, gets the attention of her first sign in the world for a weekly press briefing in her office in 2018. Language Interpreter was appointed. He says that information about the government’s decisions and policies should reach the mute audience as well. Keep in mind that New Zealand is also the first country in the world to declare itself free from Kovid epidemic.
What is in the proposed amendments?
Under Section 89, 92 (a) and 93 of the Act, the target of penalty reduction has been targeted under which some crimes do not fall within the purview of punishment. A fine of up to five lakh rupees has been prescribed for violation of the law and there is a provision of a jail sentence of up to five years for misbehavior or public humiliation. If these provisions are removed, then the situation can become worse for the disabled. According to Vaishnavi Jayakumar, activist of the Disability Rights Alliance, in a statement published on the website of the New Indian Express newspaper, “The use of the Act is already limited and it can further weaken the rights of the disabled.”
The basic objective of the RPWD Act was to restore the dignity of the disabled who are denied equal opportunities in employment and education. Under this act, seats are reserved for them in government jobs and educational institutions, there is a provision to provide easy and comfortable structure for them and there is a talk of creating an inclusive environment, so that their development and participation in society remains uninterrupted. This act has also been important to some extent in creating a comfortable, friendly, non-discriminatory and equitable environment for the disabled in private enterprises. But the sections which are being weakened or possibly even removed, will not be less than thunderclap on the above rights.
0.5% disabled in top companies of the country
In the midst of the Corona crisis, there are equally difficult challenges for the physically challenged, apart from the everyday livelihood of the common society, these amendments decisively in the margins of living in jails or prisons, imprisoned persons with imprisonment, inmates under consideration. Can affect. According to a report by NewsClick.in website, more than half of the states have not even notified the Act. Out of 22 national law universities, 12 universities do not give five percent reservation to candidates with disabilities, only nine states have set up advisory boards on disability. And there are only six states that have made some progress in keeping the State Fund for Disability organized. This is the situation at the government level, so what will happen in private companies and enterprises, it is not difficult to guess.
No one in the society should ignore the responsibility and maintain empathy, for this it is necessary to follow the family and social ideals. Industry institutions also need to be brought together in this regard. If the Crime Records Bureau does not keep the crime figures on the handicapped, as it is being said, then this work should start without delay and a category should also be created. It would have been better if the proposed amendments had been clearly mentioned and it would have been clear that what would be the cases which would not come under the purview of crime or violation. Lack of clarity means lack of transparency and sensitivity in functioning.
The intention behind giving the word Divyang was that the disabled do not have inferiority complex. But it is not only about this feeling, but also of his rights, he is seen to be in compliance with the Act, only then his dignity will be protected and his self-respect will be valued.