JAMMU: The State Administrative Council (SAC) on Thursday cleared the enactment of the ‘Jammu and Kashmir Rights of Persons with Disabilities Bill, 2018’.
The Jammu and Kashmir Persons with Disabilities (Equal Opportunities, Protection of Rights and full participation) Act, 1998 has been modeled on the pattern of Persons with Disabilities (Equal Opportunities, Protection of Rights and full participation) Act, 1995 (Central Act). The Parliament has enacted the Rights of Persons with Disabilities Act, 2016 whereby repealing Act of 1995.
The Bill will address various matters related to PwDs with enhanced effectiveness. It will give leverage to various centrally sponsored schemes/programmes so as to secure and protect the interest of PwDs besides it will benefit these persons with slew of interventions encompassing health, rehabilitation and education.
The Bill envisages increase in the types of disabilities from existing 7 to 21 categories i.e 14 new types of disabilities have been incorporated with special provisions for high support needs and benchmark disabilities. The reservation for the PwDs has been enhanced from 3% to 4%.
There is provision of guardianship; grievance redressal mechanism besides provision for insurance cover for employees with disabilities.
The Bill provides for constitution of State Advisory Board on Disability and District Level Committees on Disabilities.
The Bill further provides for admission of PwDs in educational institutions without discrimination, their vocational training and self-employment and non-discrimination in employment. It also provides for free education of Children with Benchmark Disabilities and identification of posts in the establishments which can be held by respective category of Persons with Benchmark Disabilities and reservation of 4% of total number of vacancies in the cadre strength in each group of posts meant to be filled with Persons with Benchmark Disabilities.
The Bill provides for incentives to employers in private sector to ensure that atleast 5% of their workforce is composed of Persons with Benchmark Disabilities.
It provides for social audit of all general schemes and programmes involving the PwDs to ensure that schemes and programmes do not have an adverse impact upon the PwDs and the need and requirement of PwDs.
The Bill seeks to provide speedy trial for offences under the Act by establishment of special courts and also provides for constitution of a State Fund for PwDs.
The new law will not only enhance the Rights and Entitlements of PwDs but also provide effective mechanism for ensuring their empowerment and positive and meaningful inclusion into the society.