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Rights of Disabled are forgotten

The Article 15 of the Indian Constitution prohibits any form of discrimination against the citizens of India. Article 15 (1) and (2) prohibit the state from discriminating any citizen on ground of any religion, race, caste, sex, place of birth or any of them.These articles provide that there shall be no restriction on any person on any of the above bases to access and use the public places such as shops, restaurants, hotels, places of public entertainment etc. or use of wells, tanks, bathing ghats, roads and places of public resort maintained wholly or partly out of State funds or dedicated to the use of the general public.

The fathers of the Indian Constitution did not mention the discrimination against the disabled in this Article. Did they forget about it? Did it not occur to them?

During the odd-even scheme of the Delhi government, women were exempted but there was no mention of any exemption for the disabled people. Nipun Malhotra, the Disability Rights activist sent a letter to the Government of Delhi pointing to this issue but there was no response. Later, he filed a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) with the Supreme Court. Again, while framing the scheme, did the Delhi Government forget about the disabled people? Are the disabled people left out from the narrative of the Indian sub-continent?

The first ever law on disability came into existence in 1995, nearly half a century after India became independent. All the people with a disability before this did not even have a law to protect them. At present, the situation has not improved with the government imposing high taxes under the new tax law, GST on wheelchairs, braille paper and other equipments that are necessities for the people with disability.


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