Disabled people plan hunger strike in Delhi for rights law

A group of disabled people will begin an indefinite hunger strike from Wednesday outside the Shastri Bhawan, which houses many central government ministries, to protest their poor representation on a committee drafting a new law protecting their rights.

Following pressure from various disabled groups, the social justice and empowerment ministry in April ormed a committee to draft new legislation, reflecting the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, to replace the Disability Act, 1995.

The first meeting of the committee will be held June 10.

“The government has overlooked the basic tenet of the convention and the bedrock of the disability rights movement – ‘Nothing about us, Without us’. The 27-member committee appointed by the government has only three people with disabilities,” said Javed Abidi, convener of Disabled Rights Group.

A group of disabled people also met Social Justice and Empowerment Minister Mukul Wasnik May 26, demanding an increase in the number of disabled people in the committee, he said.

“We will sit on indefinite hunger strike till our demands are accepted,” Abidi added.

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