“When a blind man cries”

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IMPHAL March 9: “When a blind man cries, there is no sadder tale”, lyrics from a song by a popular American band became a reality today at the state guest house.Special rapporteur (Disabilities) of the National Human Rights Commission P K Pincha, when expounding on the plight of the disabled had a similar effect to the physically challenged persons among others at the 2 days State consultation on rights of persons with Disabilities Act, 2011 which was organized by the Spastic Society of Manipur at the state guest house located at Sanjenthong today. A visually impaired person himself, Pincha voiced that disabled persons do not have to adapt to the society, but the society has to adapt to the disabled, so that the latter have the honor and status to live with dignity.
He lamented on the fact that even he was not given the related material on time for the said consultation, and even given so today, should have been in Braille, commenting on the hardship suffered by a disabled person going up three stories without a lift at the state guest house  itself suggest the poignancy of the prevailing circumstances and the need to establish a new act which is disabled friendly.
He stated that there are two barriers which affect the disabled persons. Firstly, the ‘attitudinal barrier’ which the public have in lieu to the disabled equating disability with inequality and secondly, the ‘environmental barrier’ which hinders the accessibility of the disabled persons at public places. Such barriers have to be torn down and the exercise held today will be helpful in addressing the needs of the persons with disability, he stated.
The consultation held today discussed that India having endorsed the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UN CRPD) is obligated to enact suitable legislation in furtherance of the rights recognized by the UN and it is purposed to replace the current disability legislations with a comprehensive law which recognizes all rights of persons with disabilities. The consultation held today unanimously resolved and drafted several points which will help in making the provisions of the new Disabled Act more positive and inclined to the human rights model than being a medical one.
The draft urges to guarantee equality and non discrimination to all persons with disabilities and recognize legal capacity of all persons with disabilities and make provision for support where required to exercise such legal capacity. To recognize the multiple and aggravated discrimination faced by women with disabilities and induct a gendered understanding in both rights and the programmatic interventions and to ensure children with disability being treated on an equal basis with other normal children. To mandate special programmatic interventions for ‘home bound’ persons with disabilities, persons with disabilities in institutions as also persons with high support needs.
Further ,to establish a disability rights authority which facilitates the formulation of disability policy and law with active participation of persons with disabilities, dismantles structural discrimination existing against persons with disabilities and regulates the due observance of regulations promulgated under this Act for the protection, promotion and enjoyment of all rights guaranteed in this act,and to specify civil and criminal sanctions for acts and conducts deemed to be wrongful.     
Todays consultation was attended by Doctor Akshaykumar of RIMS Psychology department.Advocate Dolen Sharma and K Madhumangol as the resource persons.

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