Nagaland fares poorly in implementation of RPWD Act

DIMAPUR, DEC 5 (NPN) | Publish Date: 12/5/2018 11:56:41 AM IST

Two years after it was passed by both Houses of Parliament, Nagaland has fared poorly in implementation of the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (RPWD) Act, 2016. 

This was stated in a study conducted by Disability Rights India Foundation (DIRF), in collaboration with National Centre for Promotion of Employment for Disabled People (NCPEDP) and National Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (NCRPD), with support from Titan Company Limited, to evaluate the progress made in implementation of the RPWD Act in States and Union Territories (UTs).

The report was released by Diversity and Equal Opportunity Centre (DEOC).

Altogether 19 questions were sent out to the States and UTs primarily focusing on rules, administrative structures, notifications and allocation of funds and reservations of persons with disabilities – basically the underpinnings of the implementation of the Act. Responses were received from 24 States and UTs, including Andaman & Nicobar Islands, Andhra Pradesh, Assam, Bihar, Chandigarh, Delhi, Goa, Jammu & Kashmir, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Kerala, Madhya Pradesh, Manipur, Meghalaya, Nagaland, Odisha, Puducherry, Punjab, Tamil Nadu, Telangana, Tripura, Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand and West Bengal, the response rate being 66 .6%.

Out of these States and UTs, 58.3% have not notified the State rules, which should have been notified within six months of enforcement of the Act. And though there are 21 official languages, the Act has only been translated only into two languages – Hindi and Odiya. NCPEDP, out of its own initiative and with support from State partners, has translated the Act into nine languages, and also the in-sign language.

Further, 50% of these States and UTs have not yet constituted State Advisory Boards, while 83.3% are yet to constitute district committees. 

Also, there are no commissioners for persons with disabilities in 37.5% of the States and UTs, while there is not much progress in remaining 62.5% where the commissioners have been appointed. Many States don’t have full-time commissioners and only three States (12.5%) have constituted advisory committees comprising of experts to assist the commissioner.

What is also worrisome is that 79.2% States and UTs have not constituted the State fund to implement the Act.

Only four States (16.7%) have appointed a nodal officer in the district education office to exclusively deal with matters relating to admission of children with disabilities.

Also, 58.3% States have not notified special courts in the districts for trying offences under the Act, while 87.5% have not appointed special public prosecutors as mandated by the Act.

And 87.5% of the States do not have designated authorities to decide what sort of support, and in what manner, can be provided to persons with high support needs to enable them to exercise their legal rights.

Though, as per the Act, every establishment (private and government) has to formulate an equal opportunity policy and register it with the disability commissioner, 91.7% of the respondent States and UTs have reported NIL to the question as to how many equal opportunity policies they have received. Only two States – Delhi and Himachal Pradesh – reported having received 1,244 and one such policies respectively from the establishments.

The study found that 54.2% of the States and UTs have not made any provisions for increasing reservation in employment from 3% to 4% in government and public sectors.

Only one State has taken some action to increase the quantum of assistance (by at least 25%) for people with disabilities in social security schemes. And only 50% States and UTs have started issuing disability certificates pertaining to new disabilities added in the Act.

The study also prepared a scorecard to rank the States and UTs according to the positive steps they have taken as per the provisions of RPWD Act. Accordingly, Madhya Pradesh and Odisha scored the highest by answering in affirmative 12 out of 19 questions (63.2%) in implementing some of the provisions of the Act.

Ten States and UTs have scored extremely low by being able to answer in the affirmative in less than 25% of the questions.

The RPWD Act was passed by the Parliament on December 16, 2016. 

-Tags:#RPWD Act

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