Thursday, June 10, 2010

Disabled leaders to go on indefinite hunger strike from tomorrow

New Delhi, Jun 8 (UNI) To protest against the non-inclusion of differently abled people in the Committee formed to draft the New Disability Act, 15 disabled leaders will go on an indefinite hunger strike here from tomorrow.

The Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment (MSJE) had formed a Committee to draft a new legislation to replace the Disability Act of 1995 on April 30.

However, Javed Abidi of the Disability Rights Group alleged that the 27 odd member Committee has only three people with disabilities.

''They overlooked the basic tenet of United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNCRPD) and the bedrock of the disability rights movement - 'Nothing about Us, Without Us','' he said.

Mr Abidi said he had met Union Minister for Social Justice and Empowerment Mukul Wasnik on May 26 in this regard but the Minister did not agree to reconsider or even to include more disabled people in the Committee.

Earlier, the disabled leaders from across the country and across disabilities had held a candlelight vigil on May 29 in front of the Minister's residence as a mark of protest.

Mr Abidi, who is also Honorary Director of National Centre for Employment for Disabled People, further said the Committee will be meeting for the first time on June 10.

''To strongly protest against this move and to reiterate our demand that the Committee should be inclusive, 15 disabled leaders from the southern states will sit on an indefinite hunger strike tomorrow outside Shastri Bhawan,'' he said.

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