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Sightsavers and NCPEDP organise a national consultation ahead of Global Disability Summit

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Global Disability Summit is a significant opportunity for countries to table their actions & experiences on the implementation of Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNCRPD) and the eminent commitment towards ‘Leaving No One Behind’ in the 2030 agenda

Sightsavers India in collaboration with National Centre for Promotion of Employment for Disabled People (NCEPDP) organised a national consultation ahead of Global Disability Summit (GDS) scheduled for 16th and 17th February. The national consultation deliberated over the progress made against the last 2018 GDS commitment and brought in suggestions and findings for the inclusion of Persons with Disabilities in all development spheres and policies.

Dr Muniraju S.B., Deputy Adviser (SJE-VAC)-NITI Aayog; Sandeep Rajak, Commissioner Disability, Madhya Pradesh, members of disability network, PWDs from grassroots of many districts along with Sightsavers and NCEPDP representatives were present at the consultation.

Dr Muniraju said, “Government in its measure towards promoting the inclusion of PWDs have taken many initiatives from legislating anti discriminatory laws, reservation for PWDs in government sector jobs, social security measures to various socio-economic and education programmes to uplift the lives of PWDs. We have also come up with educational course on etiquette for attending to the needs of children with disabilities. There is partnership between Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment, Government of India & Ministry of Education for making schools inclusive for Divyang.”

RN Mohanty, CEO Sightsavers India said, “It is really satisfying that today’s consultation is deliberating and reflecting upon the GDS commitments by involving representatives right from district level Organisation of People with Disabilities (OPD) leaders to national level stakeholders. In recent years, Government of India has taken some eminent measures to promote and protect the rights of PWDs through its policies in the form of Rights of Persons with Disabilities (RPWD) Act-2016, the new National Education Policy-2020 and Institutions like Skill Council for PWDs etc. The time has come we need to strengthen the implementation of these eminent policies in place and ensure that it reaches to the last and the remotest person with disabilities in a village.”

Arman Ali, Executive Director, NCPEDP said, “People with disabilities are the hardest hit by COVID-19 pandemic, it is critical to raise global awareness and focus on disability inclusion. ‘Leave No one Behind’ will be a reality only when education, health, employment (to name a few) is made inclusive of and for people with disabilities.”

Rajak added, “In 2022, we intend to start a special drive for recruiting people with disabilities in government jobs for the reserved positions. We will also approach private sector for employing PWDs as per their skillsets.”

The recommendations and findings from the consultation will be shared with the government through Department of Empowerment of Persons with Disabilities (DePwD) under Ministry of Social Justice & Empowerment.

The main objectives of this consultation were:

  • To briefly review the commitments made by Government of India in the first summit in London in 2018;
  • To discuss the themes of capacity building of OPD’s, inclusive education, inclusive health and inclusive employment and livelihood;
  • To make recommendations on the themes that are both measurable and timebound.

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