Draft National Policy on Disability: Important Facts

Responses from the public were asked for by the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment till 9th July regarding the new draft national policy on persons with disabilities (PwD). This policy recommends various interventions regarding education, prevention of disability, social security, healthcare, and accessibility.

What does this draft say?

  • The draft has highlighted that the present national programme to prevent disabilities that are run by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare focuses on the traditional disability causes, but disability can also be caused due to medical negligence, malnourishment, factors that are related to socio-culture, and any impairment that is caused by disasters.
  • This draft policy has invited an inclusive national programme on disability prevention including the disabilities that have been added under the RPD Act as well as other medical conditions due to which disability can crop up.
  • The draft has highlighted that one-third of all disabilities that are found in children can be prevented if there is early detection.
  • The policy also highlights that the country’s states and UTs must add a compliance provision with the RPD Act before recognition is granted to the educational institutions in the state.
  • Also, the policy says that a segment on disability must be included in all medical courses.
  • The policy also highlights the need for a revision of the existing disability policy that was drafted in the year 2006.

Who headed the committee that was created to form this draft?

The committee that was set up to formulate the new draft policy was headed by Anjali Bhawra, secretary, Department of Empowerment of PwD.

What does this policy say about the vehicles used by disabled persons?

This policy has asked the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways to pass policies making vehicles handy and manageable so that people with disabilities can have easier access.

How many disabilities are there under the Rights of Persons with Disabilities Act, 2016?

Earlier this act had 7 disabilities listed under it but it was later increased to 21.

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