Department of Empowerment of Persons with Disabilities (Divyangjan) facilitates persons with disabilities. To empower them, rights of Persons with disabilities Act, 2016 has come into force from 19th April, 2017. The Lok Sabha today passed “The Rights of Persons with Disabilities Bill – 2016” and this Bill will replace the existing PwD Act, 1995, which was enacted 21 years back.
The Central Rules under the Act have been notified on 15th June. Highlights of the Act:
- Types of disabilities increased from existing 7 to 21:
- Leprosy Cured Persons
- Autism Spectrum Disorder
- Specific Learning Disability
- Speech and Language Disability
- Chronic Neurological Conditions
- Hearing Impairment (deaf and hard of hearing)
- Multiple Disabilities including Deaf-Blindness
- Multiple Sclerosis
- Sickle Cell Disease
- Parkinson’s Disease
- Intellectual Disability
- Muscular Dystrophy
- Acid Attack Victims
- Locomotor Disability
- Mental illness
- Cerebral Palsy
- Reservation in government jobs increased from 3% to 4%.
- To strengthen Prime Minister’s Sugamya Bharat Abhiyan (Accessible India Campaign), provisions for Accessibility in public buildings (Government & Private), Transportation and Information and Communication Technology (ICT).
- Right to free education for every child (6 to 18 years of age) with benchmark disability.
- 5% reservation in Government higher educational institutions and higher educational institutions receiving aid from the government.
- Penal provisions for violation of the provisions of the Act.
Any person who contravenes any provision of the act will be punished with a maximum fine of Rs 5 lakh.