Differently abled students will now enjoy more right to education as the government is in its later stage of finalising the rules of the recently passed Disabilities Bill. It is expected to be released by April 14 and will allow disabled persons to avail 5 percent reservation in higher education institutions from next academic session.
The bill aims at specially-abled persons with benchmark disability between the age group of 6 and 18 years to also have the right to free education.
Passed during the winter session of the parliament, the Rights of Persons with Disabilities Bill, covers benefits such as raising reservation in government jobs for persons with benchmark disabilities from 3 to 4 percent and in higher education institutes from 3 to 5 per cent.
"The Disabilities Bill was passed by Parliament in the Winter Session and it has already been notified. Now I'm keen for earliest implementation of this act. We are working on to finalise its rules by April 14, including reservation benefits for the disabled," Social Justice and Empowerment Minister Thaawar Chand Gehlot said.
According to him, this very important legislation would be a game changer for disabled persons and it brings Indian laws in line with the UN Convention on Rights of Persons with Disabilities.
The types of disabilities for the benefit has been increased by the government from the existing seven to 21 under the newly-enacted Act.
The newly added types are mental illnesses, autism spectrum disorder, cerebral palsy, muscular dystrophy, chronic neurological conditions, specific learning disabilities, multiple sclerosis, speech and language disability, thalassemia, hemophilia, sickle cell disease, multiple disabilities, including deaf blindness, acid attack victims, and Parkinson's disease.
As more number of disabilities pop up, the government has the volition to add to its disabilities types list to cater to the needs of those special people.
The act says that assaulting, insulting, intimidating, denying food to a person with a disability or sexually exploiting a differently-abled woman and performing a medical procedure on such women without consent which may lead to termination of pregnancy will draw a jail term up to five years once the law is passed.
Any person who contravenes any provision of the act will be punished with a maximum fine of Rs 5 lakh, the Act reads.