Meeting with Chief Secretary BVR Subramanyam on 10th August 2018

On 10th of August 2018 a team from Humanity Welfare Organization Helpline NGO led by its honorary chairman Mr. Javed Ahmad Tak visited the office of State Human Rights Commission Srinagar. The visit was done into order to follow the earlier meeting held with Chairman State Human Rights commission Retired Justice Bilal Ahmad Nazki. In that meeting which was led by honorary Chairman Humanity Welfare Organization Helpline Mr. Javed Ahmad Tak. In that meeting various issued faced by persons with disabilities were discussed. The chairman human rights commission was requested and impressed for early redressal of issues faced by persons with disabilities in the state of Jammu and Kashmir. Chairman State human rights commission while taking the matter seriously with department of Social Welfare discussed all the issues discussed in meeting with them and it was after that discussion he felt department of social welfare has not done much in the matter, Chairperson State Human rights commission summoned pthe Chief secretary of J&K state, personally. After discussing issues of persons with disabilities in J&K, the Chief Secretary BVR Subramanyam assured Justice Nazki that all issues pertaining to the disability sector will be redressed on priority without any compromise and said that persons with disabilities are important stake holders and State of J&K can’t progress without involvement of persons with disabilities.

Javed Ahmad Tak Honorary Chairman Humanity Welfare Organization Helpline NGO also pleaded on part of disability sector and explained various issues faced by people with disabilities before the Chief Secretary in presence of Justic Bilal Ahmad Nazki – Chairperson SHRC. The issues included

1. Passing of Rights of persons with disabilities Act 2016. The new Act has following positives:

  • The quota for the employment of the educated persons with disabilities will get elevated to 4% from current 3%.
  • There are anti discriminatory sections which a person with disability can use to safeguard his rights.
  • There are sections of punitive action against making fake disability certificates.
  • Constitution of State Advisory Board for persons with disabilities including 10 persons with different disabilities representing their sections and discuss the issues and challenges related to them.
  • Incorporation of additional persons with disabilities in the best thing in the RPWD Act 2016. Earlier only seven types of persons with disabilities were identified; Now 21 types of persons with disabilities have been included.
  • Creation of fast tract courts to redress the cases pertaining to the disability

2. The other burning issue is the unemployment among educated persons with disabilities, because of horizontal reservations for persons with disabilities. Our state has 5% quota available in reserved categories. So far 45% quota is being served to the various categories. It is humbly requested that Government of J&K may please be directed to serve 5% vertical reservation in employment to persons with disabilities. Same 5% quota should be reserved in work orders, contracts, and all opportunities of work for illiterate persons with disabilities so that they too can earn livelihood with dignity. Various educated persons with disabilities have lost parental support and have no source of income.

3. Accessibility is an important component to ensure reach of persons with disability to nook and corner of the state including Educational institutions, Hospitals, Bus stops, transport, recreation places, libraries, Courts and other public places. Here in our state we the persons with disabilities are facing tremendous challenges to even reach High Court. The ramp there is facing barrier of Security banker and thereafter there is no lift facility available. Even legal services authority Section, bank, restaurant are out of reach of persons with disability. We have to wait for idle humans of young age to come and carry us along with wheelchairs. We are asked questions like why we came. What we want? Thus we face humiliations. There are no identified parking places for us. On gate we are lamenting to let us go along-with vehicle so that we can de-board vehicles with dignity. Same is case with other state infrastructure. Mere ramp at entry point doesn’t mean accessibility. For blind persons tactile ways, tags on all doors and washrooms for deaf and mute people and lifts for severe locomotor disable persons is very important. State through Public works department may please be directed to create accessibility in state infrastructure for all types of persons with disabilities on priority. On one hand Accessibility India campaign has been launched in Country to renovate buildings for creating accessibility on phase manner, on other hand the new buildings under construction in all districts are not covered under accessibility features. Even footpaths and zebra crossings are not having access to persons with disabilities.

4. Employees with disabilities are not given benefits of promotion since Disability Act has been passed. In 2016 the Honourable Supreme Court of India gave directions in case of Rajeev Kumar Gupta & Others … Petitioners Versus Union of India & Others … Respondents WITH CIVIL APPEAL NO. 5389 OF 2016 (Arising out of SLP (Civil) No.244 of 2016 that reservation should be granted in promotion in favour of employees with disabilities, so that the employees with disabilities should not face stagnation.

5. The integrated Social Security pension is the only cash benefit scheme meant for persons with disabilities to manage livelihood. Various states like Goa has been giving 2500 to 3500 rupees as social security pension depending upon the severity of disability. Presently social security amount is 1000 rupees only and during the present expensive market times it is very impossible to manage life having dependence and high support needs. It is requested that the social security pension should be at least 3000 rupees so that for persons with higher percentage of disability that is 70 – 100%. The rest of the disability percentages should be at least 2000 rupees.

6. As the order of conveyance allowance has been passed in 2012. Since then travel expenses have raised around 150%. Seventh pay commission has recommended to enhance the conveyance allowance from rs 1000 to 2100. But that too is not sufficient. It is requested that conyeance allowance for the employees with all types disabilities may please be enhanced to rupees 100 perday that is rupees 3000/- rupees permonth. The criteria for the disbursal of conveyance allowance may please be extended to all the employees with disabilities possesing 40% - 100% of disability certificate. Earlier the conveyance allowance under SRO Article 328E was confined to orthopedic disable and blind employees only but now the convyeance allowance should be extended to all types of employees with disabilities facing disability of more than 40% as in orther states and central level.

The chief secretary assured that secretary level meeting will be convened in presence of persons with disabilities representing various disabilities in near future.

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