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NHRC re-constituted Core Group on Disabilities

New Delhi (Global news) The National Human Rights Commission, NHRC, India held the first meeting of its re-constituted Core Group on Disabilities today. Chairing it, the NHRC Member, Dr. D.M. Mulay expressed concern over the pace with which efforts are being made to ensure that all the public facilities are available to Divyangjan at par with any other citizen. He said that the Rights of Persons with Disability Act, 2016 provides guiding principles to envisage a large vision to act and implement disabled friendly environment to enable every person with disability to realise his/her full potential as a citizen of India and to make justice, dignity and equality available to them.

Dr. Mulay emphasized that it is not just the matter of accessibility but using full potential of persons with disabilities should be focus of discourse. It should be with a result orientated approach and not just end up raising problems. He said that the NHRC Core Group Members and experts working in the field of issues related to disabilities should travel various parts of the country to look out for the best practices so as to evolve a common framework for implementation throughout the country for the betterment of facilities and infrastructure for the persons with disabilities.

Making a brief interjection, NHRC Member, Mr. Justice M.M. Kumar said that usage of Artificial Intelligence needs to be promoted to ensure accessibility of all the services to the Divyangjan at par with others.

Earlier, Mr. Harish Chandra Chaudhary, NHRC Joint Secretary said that the Commission decided to re-constitute its Core Group on Disabilities exclusively in order to focus specifically on the issues of persons with disability. He said that the Rights of Persons with Disability Act, 2016 has a number of provisions to create disabled friendly facilities, which needed to be implemented on the ground.

Mr. MritunjayJha, Deputy Chief Commissioner for Persons with Disabilities said that the Centre and States, in line with the Rights of Persons with Disability Act, 2016 as well as the Sustainable Development Goals, have started working towards making cities and human settlements disabled friendly.

Some suggestions, among others, that emerged from the meeting, were as follows:

· Include community-based rehabilitation services;

· Ensure participation of persons with disabilities in the decision-making processes;

· Ensure disabled friendly public transport;

· Ensure access to justice by video call and text and a dedicated mobile toll free number, which can be accessed in police stations or hospitals alike for diverse communication needs of persons with disabilities.

The participants included senior officers of the Commission, representatives from the Department of Empowerment of Persons with Disabilities, Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment, National Association for Blind, Disability Rights Alliance, NHRC Core Group Members.