Gamlin urges state govts to prepare standard rules based on Rights of PwDs Act

RONO HILLS, 4 Dec: Secretary of the persons with disabilities (PwD) department under the ministry of social justice & empowerment (MSJE), Shakuntala Doley Gamlin urged the state governments to come up with standard rules based on the Rights of PwDs Act, 2016.

Under the act, she said, reservation in admission in institutes of higher education has been increased from 3 percent to 5 percent, and jobs from 3 percent to 4 percent.

Gamlin, who is also the chairperson of the Rehabilitation Council of India, was addressing a webinar themed ‘Rights of Persons with Disabilities Act, 2016’, which was organized to mark the World Disability Day

by the education department of Rajiv Gandhi University (RGU) here on Thursday.

She highlighted the actions taken by the MSJE for “transforming existing buildings and transport facility into accessible form under the Sugmya Bharat Abhiyan.”

“To curb stress, anxiety and suicidal tendencies among youths with disabilities, Kiran helpline has been launched, which gives support in 13 Indian languages, and a new national institute in Shehore in Madhya Pradesh is under construction for mental health and rehabilitation,” Gamlin informed.

The RCI is engaged in manpower development in 17 professional categories, including teacher preparation for children with disabilities (CwD), and has successfully educated 14 lakhs teachers for the field.

Gamlin spoke about engaging RGU students in different certificate, diploma and degree courses and collaborating with the RCI “as there is a huge demand for manpower, projected to be 40 lakhs in the future.” She assured RGU of all possible help from her ministry for skill development of students with disabilities.

Arunachal’s Social Justice & Empowerment Director Yumlam Kaha informed that there are more than 33,000 PwDs in Arunachal as per the 2011 census. He informed about the state’s intervention in the form of issuing unique IDs to the PwDs and disability pension of Rs 1,700 per month. He said a physiotherapy centre is operational in Naharlagun, a new project for a vocational training institute is underway and a CRC is being set up. He urged RGU to start a department to take care of the education and training of disabled people.

RGU VC Prof Saket Kushwaha spoke about the varsity’s commitment towards PwDs, and assured that research proposals pertaining to the issues of such people would be funded with internal resources. He said that accessible infrastructural facilities will be created in a phased manner for students with disabilities.

RGU Registrar Dr NT Rikam spoke on injustices done to the PwDs knowingly or unknowingly. He opined that there should be visible changes in the lives of such people, saying “otherwise mere launching of schemes won’t help.”

Founder director of Sense International, India, Dr Akhil Paul, director of the National Institute for Empowerment of Persons with Visual Disabilities, Dehradun, Dr Himangshu Das, and Bhubaneshwar-based RIE (NCERT)’s education department head Prof Gowramma IP also spoke on the key theme.