India Calls For Inclusive Agenda on the Disabled

Yoshita Singh/United Nations
India Calls For Inclusive Agenda on the Disabled

India has called for an inclusive post-2015 development agenda that focuses on overcoming existing barriers for persons with disabilities, saying enhancing accessibility to education, healthcare and employment for the differently abled is "utmost necessary."

"Focus on inclusion of persons with disabilities in formulation of development policies and enhancing their accessibility to education, healthcare and employment is utmost necessary," said Lov Verma, Secretary, Department of Empowerment of Persons with Disabilities in Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment.

"An inclusive Post 2015 development agenda will ensure overcoming existing barriers and empower persons with disabilities," Verma said at the 8th Session of the Conference of the State Parties to the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNCRPD) here on June 9.

Verma said India remains committed to building an enabling environment so that all persons with disabilities are able to enjoy their rights equally with others and realize their full potential.

Outlining the measures taken by the Indian government to ensure equal opportunities for persons with disabilities, Verma said new centres of excellence such as National Institute of Universal Design and National Institute of Mental Health Rehabilitation are being established and research and development on various aspects of disability is being promoted on service, models and programmes like public awareness, advocacy, early intervention, education, vocational training and adult independent living.

India has 26.8 million persons with disabilities, constituting 2.21 per cent of the total population.

Verma said the government has launched a National Action Plan for Skill Training of 2.5 million persons with disabilities by the year 2022 through various stakeholders.

He said a new Rights of Persons with Disabilities Bill was introduced in the Parliament which was referred to the Parliamentary Standing Committee for examination and report.

The proposed law will increase the rights and entitlements for persons with disabilities, protect them from discrimination, facilitate mainstreaming, access to care and treatment and also strengthen enforcement mechanisms.

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