National News

Acid attack victims, Parkinson's patients will be included in amended Disabilities Bill

The proposed changes to the 1995 Act include the right to free education for children and a hike in reservations for government jobs.

Parkinson’s disease patients and victims of acid attacks are among the categories of people listed in amendments to the 1995 Persons with Disabilities Bill, The Times of India reported on Friday. Other categories out of the 21 added to the Act for consideration by Parliament include autism, dwarfism, haemophilia, multiple sclerosis and sickle cell disease.

The categories were added following consultations between a group of ministers and various government departments. Other proposed amendments to the Act include the right to free education for children between the ages of 6 to 18 years suffering from a “benchmark disability”. The government has also increased the reservation in higher educational institutions for students with such disabilities to 4% from 3%.

An increase in government job reservations to 4% from 3% has also been proposed, along with provisions for the easy access to public transport. On Thursday, a senior official of the Social Justice and Empowerment ministry said the amendments had been introduced to bring the Act in line with the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, according to PTI.

The Centre is keen to have the amendments passed in the Rajya Sabha on Friday so that the updated law can be announced on Saturday to coincide with World Disability Day, the newspaper report said.

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