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Disability News India (DNI)

Disability News India (DNI), is a disability News service dedicated to providing a quality up-to-date information to the Indian Disability. DNI's news section is updated two times a week, though we also add breaking stories as and when they occur.

Disability News India – January 2011 Issue

Mumbai's disabled phone booth owners seek governor's help

Mumbai, Jan 7: Claiming that the increased use of mobile phones has hit their business, physically and visually impaired holders of public call booths in Mumbai Friday sought Maharashtra Governor K. Sankaranarayan's help.

Their 15–member delegation met the governor and requested him that they be allowed to run general stores, stationary stores or photocopying business from the PCO booths allotted to them, a Raj Bhavan official said.

Sankaranarayan assured them he will take up the matter with Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan.

'The delegation told the governor that the increased use of mobile phones has rendered nearly 2,800 telephone booth holders in Mumbai without income,' the official said.

The delegation, under the banner of 'Brihanmaharashtra Apang Vikas Sanghatana,' urged the governor to direct the state government to allot a 200 sq ft place in the premises of courts and municipal areas to visually and physically challenged people for commercial purpose.

The delegation also requested that government–owned land near Wadala Truck Terminus in central Mumbai be allotted to them for the housing of poor and disabled people.

Source: http://www.sify.com
Posted by Aqeel Qureshi

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SC warns states of contempt action on Disabilities Act

New Delhi, Jan 6: The Supreme Court today warned of contempt proceedings against states which fail to provide sufficient special access facilities for physically challenged persons as mandated under the Persons with Disabilities Act.

A three–judge bench of Chief Justice S H Kapadia, justices K S Radhakrishnan and Swatanter Kumar also sought an explanation from the Centre within four weeks as to whether Central Committee and State level committees have been set up for implementing the Act and details vis–a–vis disbursal of funds, if any.

The Persons with Disabilities (Equal Opportunities, Protection of Rights and Full Participation) Act was enacted in 1995. The apex court gave the warning after senior counsel Colin Gonzalves for petitioner Rajiv Raturi in a PIL complained that though several guidelines have been framed under the Act for the benefit of physically challenged persons, neither the Centre nor the states showed interest in implementing the same.

He pointed out that the National Building Code and the Public Works Department have framed several guidelines for creating special facilities for disabled persons at public places like railway stations, bus terminus, airports, trains, buses and aircraft but till date no such facility has been created."We make it clear that if the states do not enforce the National Building Code of India as well as the guidelines issued by the Central Public Works Department, we would be taking contempt proceedings, for which the petitioner(s) could move before this court," the bench said in an order.

The apex court said it was passing the order "strictly based" on the provisions of the Act.

It said "on going through the provisions of the Persons with Disabilities (Equal Opportunities, Protection of Rights and Full Participation) Act, 1995, prima facie, we are satisfied that several important statutory duties have remained non–compliant till date. "We are not even sure as to whether the Central Co–ordination Committee has been duly constituted under Section 3 by the central government as provided in the 1995 Act," the bench said.

The apex court also sought information from the Centre on the following three issues:

1. whether the Central Coordination Committee has been constituted under Section 3 of the 1995 Act. If not, by what time it would be constituted.

2. If Central Co–ordination Committee has been constituted, whether such Committee has given directions/guidelines to the State Coordination Committees under the 1995 Act.

3. Whether any funds have been disbursed to the State Co–ordination Committees. If so, whether utilisation certificates have been issued by the state government from time to time.

Directing the Centre to file an affidavit on the question, the bench posted the matter for further hearing after four weeks.

Source: http://www.deccanherald.com/
Posted by Aqeel Qureshi

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More kids like Chiku abandoned because of disability

New Delhi, Jan 05: On Monday, CNN–IBN brought the story of six–month old Chiku alias Stephen, who got a brain hemorrhage during delivery. His parents abandoned him saying it was the hospital's duty to cure him as they were unable to look after him in his present state.

Chiku's case is not the only case. Two–year old Suhasini is one of the many abandoned children looked after by the Delhi Council for Child Welfare. Diagnosed with Down's syndrome she was left at the home soon after she was born.

Nearly a 100 children are taken in by this home every year. The reasons for them being abandoned range from financial problems to the birth of a girl child to physical and mental disabilities. But it is the mentally challenged ones who have the toughest time as no one is willing to adopt them.

Child rights activist Merry Barua says, "There is a huge stigma in India even now as far as mental disability is considered. People are willing to accept physically disabled children. But the minute you are felt to be someone who has any kind of cognitive impairment, you are kind of considered less human."

Child rights activists say that the government should be doing a lot more to do away with this stigma.

They say that the government should open more institutions for such kids with a genuine staff who cares for them.

Even while Chiku is waiting to be taken home, there are hundreds of abandoned babies like him, who have no home to call their own.

Source: http://ibnlive.in.com
Posted by Aqeel Qureshi

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DU gets first elected disabled Academic Council member

New Delhi: Jan 05: "Disability as academics is not talked of. Topics like gender and caste have found their way into syllabi, but disability as a discipline has not," says the first elected disabled member of the Delhi University's Academic Council.

Nikhil Jain, who was born blind, is one of the 26 teachers elected to the AC in 2010. He achieved the feat without being a member of any of the larger teachers' organisations ? those in the know say four of the largest organisations supported up to 23 of the successful candidates.

Founder–president of Sambhavana, an organisation formed in 2001 to address the rights of the disabled, Jain is also an Assistant Professor of Political Science at Dyal Singh College.

Jain describes Sambhavana as a group that "primarily supports progressive disability politics".

During the AC elections, which took place on December 23, Jain contested representing Sambhavana ? Teachers' Collective, a platform of three Left–leaning organisations, had endorsed his candidature.

Sitting on a bench in a park near his Faridabad residence, Jain spoke of politics. "Disability as an issue has been alive for some time. But disability as politics has not emerged anywhere."

Jain talks in a new language of inclusiveness. His line of argument matches that of the green warriors ? that the issues being talked of concern us all.

"Reading material is still not accessible for Hindi–medium students, because translations are not easily available. There is no policy for an audio archive. An audio archive will not just help a visually impaired person, it will benefit all," Jain says.

Though Jain says he is all for academic reforms, he is guarded against the implementation of the semester system. "The semester system has been difficult for persons with disabilities. For example, the visually disabled have to convert printed material into a recorded format to make it more readable by the assistance software. Given the infrastructure that DU has, it is not sufficient," he says, pointing out that the disabled will lose time trying to scan documents into the software that would read out to them.

Jain also wants to make the Academic Council more relevant. "In the last two years, the last Vice–Chancellor reduced the Academic Council to a rubber stamp. There is a need to make the AC more democratic. We have to give more chance to debate."

Source: http://www.indianexpress.com/
Posted by Aqeel Qureshi

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Plea to let deaf drive: HC reserves order on PIL

NEW DELHI, Jan 04: Hopes of more than five crore hearing–impaired persons will be pinned on the Delhi high court this year after HC on Monday wrapped up hearings into a PIL, filed by National Association of the Deaf, that seeks driving licences for the deaf.

A division bench led by the Chief Justice reserved for orders the PIL whose outcome will be keenly awaited by many. As of now, the Motor Vehicles Act prohibits the deaf from obtaining a driver's licence on the ground that they could be a source of danger to the public.

During the various hearings on the issue, the judges have questioned the logic behind the move to ban deaf from driving on the roads, wondering why they shouldn't be permitted to at least appear in the driving tests conducted by the transport department. All such issues are expected to be settled by the HC bench in its verdict.

Source: http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/
Posted by Aqeel Qureshi

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J&K govt to spread awareness on census among disabled people

Srinagar, Jan 04: Ahead of the second phase of census in the Kashmir Valley, the administration today sought the support of disabled persons to create awareness among their community about importance of the population count exercise.

Dozens of disabled persons carrying banners and placards took out a rally, organised by the Census Department, from Press Enclave to General Post Office, a distance of nearly one kilometer, in the heart of Srinagar.

The second phase of the census is scheduled to begin from February 9 and will end on February 28. The last census conducted in 2001 witnessed low participation of physically disabled persons in the state. The rally was flagged off by Deputy Commissioner of Srinagar, Mehraj Ahmad Kakroo.

"This rally was aimed at creating an awareness about the census. Today we invited the physically challenged people so that they too are informed about the importance of census," Kakroo told PTI. The rally coincided with the World Braille Day.

"Our strength is around 55,000 in the state which includes disabled boys and girls. We are hopeful this rally will help us (in getting recognition)," Executive member of All Jammu and Kashmir Deaf and Disabled Association Muneer Ahmad Mir said.

Source: http://news.in.msn.com
Posted by Aqeel Qureshi

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