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India: Indefinite Hunger Strike by Disabled Leaders
National Centre for Promotion of Employment for Disabled People (NCPEDP) A -77, South Extension Part II New Delhi - 110 049, India Tel.: 91-11-26265647 / 26265648
*PRESS RELEASE* ***To protest against the non-inclusion of disabled people in the Committee formed to draft the New Disability Act***
*15 disabled leaders to go on an INDEFINITE HUNGER STRIKE from 9th June in front of Shastri Bhawan*
*New Delhi**, June 7, 2010*: After eight months of consistent advocacy led by Disabled Rights Group (DRG), the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment (MSJE) finally conceded to the disability sector's demand for a brand new law on disability reflecting the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNCRPD). On April 30, MSJE formed a Committee to draft a new legislation to replace the Disability Act of 1995. However, while doing so, they overlooked the basic tenet of UNCRPD and the bedrock of the disability rights movement - 'Nothing about Us, Without Us.' The 27 odd member Committee has only 3 people with disabilities!
Javed Abidi, Convenor DRG, met Minister MSJE, Shri Mukul Wasnik on May 26 to convey the anxiety and disappointment of the entire disability sector at the choice of members of the Committee. But the Minister did not agree to reconsider or even to include more disabled people in the Committee. Disabled leaders from across the country and across disabilities held a candle light vigil on May 29 in front of the Minister's residence as a mark of protest. Following this, a delegation of 12 disabled leaders met the Minister on May 30, again without any conclusive outcome.
*The Committee meets for the first time on June 10. To strongly protest against this move and to reiterate our demand that the Committee should be inclusive, 15 disabled leaders from the Southern States of India will sit on an indefinite hunger strike on June 9 outside Shastri Bhawan*. *Convenor DRG, Javed Abidi will also be joining them. As the word spreads, there is every possibility that more and more disabled people will join the Indefinite Hunger Strike.*
They demand that disabled people should be an integral part of the decision making process of drafting the new law, that will determine the future of 70 million disabled people of the country for years to come. The voice of disabled people will have to be heard this time around.
*For more information, please contact Javed Abidi at 9811038018 or Dorodi Sharma at 9811862407. *
***You can also speak/write to Rajiv Rajan (Tamil Nadu) at 09840630268 or email@example.com; to Paul Ramanathan (Karnataka) at 09035739540 or firstname.lastname@example.org; and M. Srinivasulu (Andhra Pradesh) at 09440360507 or mailto:email@example.com*back
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