INDEFINITE DHARNA AGAINST THE NON – INCLUSION OF DISABILTY IN THE RIGHT TO EDUCATION BILL

HUGE PROTEST ON MONDAY, 3RD AUGUST AT 10.30 A.M.  AT JANTAR MANTAR

Dear Sir/Madam,

The Right to Education Bill was tabled in the Lok Sabha on July 30.

On one hand it promises to make primary education a right for children between 6 – 14 years while on the other, it excludes more than 20 million children with disabilities!

Various disabled rights activists tried to get in touch with Mr.Kapil Sibal. But all he had to say was, “Ab Kuch Nahin Ho Sakta”. A lawyer politician flouting the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities that the country has ratified!  A government that harps on inclusiveness claims that it does not have the resources, according to the Minister, to spend on children with disability!

There are some glaring problems in the Bill:

1: Where the Bill defines ‘disadvantaged children’, it talks about SC/ST children and other groups but has no word at all about children with disabilities!

2: Where the Bill defines ‘school’, it does not mention special schools or other infrastructure required for teaching students with disabilities!

3: Where the Bill defines ‘disability’, it takes the meaning as it is given in the Disability Act, 1995. This Act covers people with physical disabilities only. For this very reason The National Trust Act was enacted in 1999 which covers Autism, Cerebral Palsy and Multiple Disabilities. These children are automatically excluded!

Disabled Rights Group (DRG) and all the disability groups in and around NCR are organising a HUGE PROTEST RALLY and INDEFINITE DHARNA on Monday, 3rd August, beginning at 10.30 a.m. at Jantar Mantar. We expect 500 or more disabled people to be there at the Dharna.

We need your best support! Please depute a reporter/photographer/camera crew and help us fight for the rights of millions of disabled children who are being deprived of their right to education.

With best regards,

Javed Abidi

Convenor, Disabled Rights Group

1.8.09

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