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Govt set to operationalise Right of Persons with Disabilities Act on April 14

New Delhi: Come April and private companies along with government ministries and departments will need to answer a series of questions pertaining to rights of persons with disabilities.

" Disabilities Act" provisions  help the disabled  to work in the government job but the obstructive attitude in the bureaucracy which led to the failure of government policy.
“Right of Persons with Disabilities Act” provisions help the disabled to work in the government job but the obstructive attitude in the bureaucracy which led to the failure of government policy.

How many differently-abled employees do you have? Have you identified specific jobs suitable for certain types of disabilities? Do you provide them assistive devices including computers? Do they have accessible toilets and lifts? These are some of the questions that will have to be answered.

Every private company, institution and government department will have to frame an equal opportunity policy specifying how it is employing differently-abled persons and providing a proper work environment to them.

This has been made mandatory under the rules framed to operationalise the Right of Persons with Disabilities Act, which was passed by Parliament in December 2016.

Equal opportunity for persons with disabilities

The equal opportunity policy will have a list of jobs identified for persons with disabilities, the manner of selection of persons with disabilities for various posts, facilities such as special leave, residential accommodation or transfers, and appointment of a trained person to handle recruitment of differently-abled persons.

The policy will have to be published on the website and in the annual report and records maintained by the organisation. The Department of Empowerment of Persons with Disabilities (DePwD) has framed the rules and will seek public comments before notifying them.

The government wants to operationalise the Act on April 14 – Ambedkar Jayanti. Social justice and empowerment minister Thaawar Chand Gehlot told ET, “We are working on a deadline of April 14. We hope to wrap up all formalities by then. This is the first time that the private sector is being brought under the Act. DePwD is trying to fine tune the definition of ‘private establishment’.”

DePwD joint secretary Awanish Awasthi said, “We had earlier thought of including companies and establishments employing 50 or more people. But after objections from the law ministry we are trying to bring out a new formulation so that we do not exclude any establishment.”

Disability experts said that such a policy will have a positive impact on employment opportunities for the differently-abled.

“This will directly affect employment of differently-abled, especially in the private sector,” said disability rights activist Javed Abidi. “Every company would like to portray itself as doing proactive work for the differently-abled. When a company has to publish it periodically on its website, it brings more transparency.”

The rules mandate a grievance redressal mechanism. In case of a complaint, a differently-abled person can approach the chief commissioner or state commissioner for persons with disabilities. The complaint will have to be disposed of within 60 days.

ET
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