The Delhi government has notified the amendments to the Rights of Persons with Disabilities Act, 2016, giving persons with disabilities better access to education, health services and employment, PTI reported on Tuesday. The new rules will enable differently-abled people to avail concessions in education, healthcare, loan facilities and other benefits under government schemes.
The Centre had passed the legislation two years ago, making it mandatory for all public offices and buildings to install disabled-friendly infrastructure and facilities. It also stipulates a jail term of up to two years, in addition to a maximum fine of Rs 5 lakh for any kind of discrimination against differently-abled people.
A Delhi government statement on Tuesday said that the notification to the Delhi Rights of Persons with Disabilities Rules, 2018, had been delayed since Delhi, considered a Union Territory, is not categorised as a state under the rules. As a result, the notification was sent to the lieutenant governor for clearance.
“However, since the notification is done, now the differently-abled can avail the benefits and concessions in education, health services, loan facilities, jobs and any such governmental schemes,” said the statement issued by Social Welfare Minister Rajendra Pal Gautam said.
The gazette issued by the Delhi government said that heads of establishments would ensure that the law is not misused to deny benefits to the differently-abled. “On receipt of a complaint from an aggrieved person regarding discrimination on the ground of disability, the head of the private establishment employing 20 or more persons or a government establishment shall initiate action in accordance with provisions of the Act,” it said.
The government will set up a committee for research on disability, and its members will include the director of the Department of Social Welfare, an eminent person, and representatives from the Directorate of Health Services, Delhi Medical Council, and an autonomous institute working in the field of disability, The Times Of India reported. Five members from state-level organisations will also be nominated as members.
The government said it invited feedback and comments from various stakeholders and the public. “The draft policy for department formation, along with the organisational structure, will be uploaded soon,” said the statement.