Shri Thaawarchand Gehlot, Minister for Social Justice and Empowerment inaugurated the “Eastern Regional Conference of Eastern Region States on issues relating to Empowerment of Persons with Disabilities” organized by Department of Empowerment of Persons with Disabilities (DEPwD), Ministry of Social Justice & Empowerment. Representatives from the States of Assam, Arunachal Pradesh, Meghalaya, Manipur, Mizoram, Nagaland, Odisha, Sikkim, Tripura and West Bengal participated in the Conference.
Shri Krishan Pal Gurjar, Minister of State for Social Justice and Empowerment, Shri N.S. Kang, Secretary, DEPwD and senior officers from Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment and the participating States were present.
In his inaugural address, Shri Thaawarchand Gehlot said that the new Rights of Persons with Disabilities Act, 2016 has expanded the horizon of the rights of persons with disabilities vis-a-vis the repealed PwD Act, 1995 and casts increased responsibilities on the States/UTs to ensure that the persons with disabilities enjoy their rights equally with others. “The State Governments are also required to take measures to provide institutional mechanism for registration of institutions working in the disability sector. It is needless to say that the new Act has penal provisions for violation of its provisions. The DEPwD is in the process of implementing a project viz. ‘Unique ID for Persons with Disabilities’ with a view to create a national database for person with disabilities, and issue Unique ID card to each PwD.”
Shri Gehlot said that more than 5300 ADIP camps have been organized by his ministry and the objective of ADIP Schemes is to assist the needy disabled persons in procuring durable, sophisticated and scientifically manufactures, modern, standard aids and appliances that can promote their physical, social and psychological rehabilitation by reducing the effects of disabilities.
This Conference was organized in New Delhi in continuation of the four zonal Regional Conferences already organized by the Department of Empowerment of Persons with Disabilities (Divyangjan), namely, Western Regional Conference in Mumbai on 11.05.2017, Southern Regional Conference in Chennai on 12.05.2017, Northern Regional Conference in Chandigarh on 26.05.2017 and Central Regional Conference in Bhopal on 02.06.2017.
Recently, the Central Government has enacted the Rights of Persons with Disabilities Act, 2016, which came into force w.e.f 19.4.2017. The new Act provides for various rights and entitlements for PwDs and casts responsibility on the States/UTs to take various measures to ensure that the PwDs enjoy their rights equally with others. It also mandates the States/UTs to frame various schemes/programme, work out mechanism to ensure inclusion and empowerment of PwDs. Keeping in view the mandate of the new Act, while the Central Government is in the process of revisiting its schemes and programmes, the States/UTs are also expected to take similar steps at their end to ensure effective implementation of the Act in a time bound manner.