Every human being is born with similar rights, legal-social, humanitarian but what makes an individual Ineligible to be called normal according to the standards of the society? Is it when some of the individuals find difficulty in accomplishing tasks similarly? Or is it how one appears mentally and physically? Disability soon turns into inability when individuals are discriminated at participatory stages dropping them back to lack of knowledge, practical and academic, which in consideration eliminate the possible opportunities they’re entitled to. The instances of the past show how disability can become a major hurdle at times for individuals to overcome and prove their potential because of the settled norms and non inclusive societal behaviour.
Just like every other citizen, the differently abled people (Disabled) too hold several claims over various rights related to Education, workplace, Healthcare and social specific means. Back in 2016, With “The Government of India” notifying the Rights of Person with Disabilities Act, 2016 ( Newly adapted one) to give effect to the United Nation’s convention over “Rights of disabled” ,the inclusiveness of the changes made separately of the previous act dealing with the aforesaid subject being “Equal Opportunities, Protection of Rights and Full Participation” Act, 1995 ( Old Act), from including several “earlier isolated” disabilities to recognising gender sensitive issues had increased the hopes of many for the positive outcomes to be fetched. But what now after 4 long years of replacement of the New act with the old one does the grass root reality looks like? Did the proposed implementation work in a positive way? Are the conditions of the targetted group of individuals anyway better after the inauguration of the replacement? With facts infra, let’s try to analyse the situations of the disabled in the society, the taboo, Rights provided and the Law.
UN CHARTER, DECLARATION AND CONVENTIONS
The charter (1945) of the United Nations, an intergovernmental organization, is a UN’s foundational treaty. Article 55 of which says that “With a view to the creation of conditions of stability and well being which are necessary for the peaceful and friendly relations among nations based on respect for the principle of equal rights and self determination of people’s, the United Nations s shall promote:
1) Higher standard of living , full employment and conditions of economic ,social progress and development;
2) Solutions of international economic, social, health, and incidental problems ,international ,cultural and educational cooperation;
c. Universal respect for, and observance of, human rights and fundamental freedoms for all without distinction as to race, sex, language or religion”.
While, on the other hand declaration by UN being a declaration of the General Assembly of the United Nations made on 9 Dec 1975, is the 3447th resolution made by the Assembly which promotes that the rights contained therein shall be enjoyed without distinction or discrimination for the reason Disabled people are Individuals, citizens, humans irrespective of what the seriousness of their disability is, they’re entitled to same fundamental inherent rights and dignity to be considered, to be respected as an Individual before being judged over their appearances. To make them self reliant and resourceful of their skills with a security phenomenon for their economic and other concerning situations the provisions of the said Declaration include:
1) The definition of “Disabled person” as anyone who cannot ensure the necessities of a normal individual and or social life as a result of deficiency in physical or mental capabilities, irrespective of exhaustive list provided;
2) A non discrimination clause applying the Rights to all disabled persons regardless of “race , colour, sex, language, religion, political or other opinions , national or social origin , state of wealth, birth” or other situation;
3) Statement regarding disabled person’s right to respect for their human dignity to be maintained.
And lastly the Convention, which promotes ,protects and ensures the full enjoyment of human rights by persons with disabilities and ensure that they enjoy full equality under the law.
With the help of various acts, enacted timely for the purpose of establishing a healthy environment for the disabled, following the Constitution of India (eg. Article 15) to eradicate discrimination and equalise workforce management, alot of the subject matters have been tried from time to time by the legislature to be pointed out such as:
¹The Person with Disabilities Act, 1995
²The Mental Health Act, 1987
³The Rehabilitation Council of India, 1992
⁴The National Trust for Welfare of Persons with Autism, Cerebral Palsy, Mental Retardation, and Multiple Disabilities Act, 1999
⁵Declaration On The Rights Of Mentally Retarded Persons
⁶ Rights of people with disabilities act, 2016 and so on.
From Stephen Hawking to IAS Ira Singhal, there’s been so many charismatic personalities achieving their goals, fighting the norms of society to enact how important it is for everyone to realise it’s definitely not a Disability instead a different ability than the most which makes them special and not abnormal. With Ms. Ira Singhal fighting for her unrecognised disability to be considered as one, to Stephen Hawking unravelling the utter new dimensions of the universe, from Sudha Chandran to Ravindra Jain, from Arunima Sinha to S Jaipal Reddy and so many contributors to the society. The difficulty was never their disability but it was the outlook which made them realise they’re anyway different. Landmark cases like
National Federation of blind v . UPSC, in which The supreme Court held that , UPSC may be directed to allow blind persons for appearing the examinations for Indian administrative and allied Services.
And in Government of NCT of Delhi v. Bharath Lal meena The Delhi High court held that people with disabilities can be appointed as physical education teachers provided they have passed the qualifying examination undergone the requisite training.
However provide an established strength to the potential holders ,at the same time motivate others with the similar condition to move out and stand for themselves. With the help of legislature, judiciary, NGOs, internationally recognised treaties, Conventions, charters and executive branches not only do such people recieve rights to claim but a support as a backbone.
Hence ,Disability not entirely depends upon the physical or mental potential of oneself but at the same time the barriers which the outlook of the society creates, in which intention doesn’t play the major role but the taboo does. The existing brackets of norms specifying particulars of your activity to be called normal. To be provided with equal opportunities as “Normal” , to be included in Educational and workplace participatory curriculum as “Normal” , which is unfortunate part of human life which was supposed to accept everything as natural ,as normal and to demand the component strength and power without any despair effect. However, the prevalent act and enactments do provide a healthy mechanism with consideration but still on ground reality there are several measures and policies necessary to stop the pulling up of the employment opportunities provided “oblique eligibility criterias”. Whereas ,Several schemes and beneficiary conferences for the disabled people has served it’s intention successfully with opportunities to be severally mentioned and fetched. There’s still a long way to go, to call it a complete success with aspects to be worked on such as personalized disability categories and rehabilitation sources to be provided fully.
I have always been against Glorifying Over Work and therefore, in the year 2021, I have decided to launch this campaign “Balancing Life”and talk about this wrong practice, that we have been following since last few years. I will be talking to and interviewing around 1 lakh people in the coming 2021 and publish their interview regarding their opinion on glamourising Over Work.
If you are interested in participating in the same, do let me know.
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