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National Disability Policy Draft Lacks Budgetary Allocations Towards Welfare of Disabled People: NPRD

NPRD has expressed disappointment that 15 years after India signed the United Nations Convention on Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNCRPD), the policy document didn't go far enough to address the issues of the disabled people in the country.
Over 200 Disability Rights Organisations

The National Platform for the Rights of the Disabled (NPRD) has welcomed the details of the National Disability Policy draft, which seeks to view disability from a rights-based lens.

However, NPRD has also expressed disappointment that 15 years after India signed the United Nations Convention on Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNCRPD), the policy document didn't go far enough to address the issues of the disabled people in the country. This is reflected in the fact the 2006 policy, which was supposed to be reviewed after five years, wasn't reviewed.

"In the nearly 100-page document, major portions are devoted to reiterating what is already spelt out in the UNCRPD or mandated by the Rights of Persons with Disabilities Act, 2016 (RPD Act) or programmes/schemes already operating. A genuine attempt to inject new directions and initiatives seems to be missing," the NPRD statement reads.

The rights organisation also highlighted how the draft admitted to minuscule budgetary allocations towards persons with disabilities but didn't include anything to remedy the situation.

"However, it does not do so, even while implementation of the mandates of the RPD Act would require substantial allocations. No increase in the Centre's contribution towards disability pension is recommended, which continues to be at a pittance of Rs 300/month."

A similar story ensues throughout the draft. While it makes the connection between poverty and disability, no policy measures have been advocated for poverty alleviation among disabled people. In the same sense, the draft acknowledges the burden of disability-related costs but doesn't push for the 25% "additional allocations that the RPD Act mandates or for providing other means of support."

NPRD's statement mentioned how the Central government had shown a tardy attitude towards implementing various provisions of the RPD Act.

"The Central government had even exempted certain central police forces from the purview of job reservations, giving a go-by to the concept of "reasonable accommodation". Offices of the Chief Commissioner for Persons with Disabilities, the National Trust and the Rehabilitation Council of India are without chairs for the past many years."

The organisation will submit a detailed response to the draft after consulting with other disability rights organisations.

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