They play a vital role in human resources development, they tell Centre
A group of 100 disability rights organisations and activists wrote to Social Justice and Empowerment Minister Thawarchand Gehlot asking him not to go ahead with the proposed merger and closure of several institutes under the Department of Empowerment of Persons with Disabilities (DEPwD).
They said the institutes and regional centres were set up by the government “in pursuit of the country’s commitment towards human resources development in the field of disability, providing rehabilitation services to persons with disabilities and research and development efforts”.
“It defies comprehension why these institutes and their chapters/centres which have and continue to play a vital role in this regard are proposed to be wound up or merged. And this at a time when the categories of recognised disabilities have increased manifold,” they wrote.
They said there was a need for decentralisation and the mergers would only lead to the contrary.
“The takeover of the functions of the National Trust, constituted under an Act of Parliament, by the government, will not just end its autonomy but will also impact the various services that it renders.”
They said the proposal would go against the government’s commitments to provide rehabilitation under the Rights of Persons with Disabilities Act, 2016 and the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. They urged the Minister to reconsider the decision.
Among the signatories to the letter were representatives of the National Platform for the Rights of the Disabled, the National Association for the Blind, the All-India Federation of the Deaf and the National Centre for Promotion of Employment for Disabled People.
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