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J&K figures at bottom in implementing Disability Rights Act: Survey.

Jammu and Kashmir has been ranked at the bottom among the 24 states in the implementation of the Disability Rights Act.

This has been revealed in a pan-India study done by a Bengaluru-based NGO, Disability Rights India Foundation (DIRF) in collaboration with the National Center for Promotion of Employment for Disabled People (NCPEDP) and the National Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (NCRPD), with support from Titan Company Limited.

The survey was undertaken to evaluate the progress made vis-à-vis the implementation of the RPWD (Rights of Persons with Disabilities) Act 2016.

The study results were released on December 3 to mark the International Day of Persons with Disabilities.

Persons with Disabilities (RPWD) Act was passed by both houses of the Parliament two years ago.

“Total 19 questions were sent out, primarily focusing on the rules, administrative structures, notifications, allocation of funds and reservations of persons with disabilities – these are basically the underpinnings of the implementation of the Act,” trustee of DIRF, Rama Krishnamachari told  over phone.

Responses were received from 24 States and Union Territories with a 66.6 per cent response rate.

The ranking was done on the basis of responses by each state regarding implementation of the RPWD Act.

According to the ranking, out of 24 states and union territories, the states of Madhya Pradesh and Odisha scored the highest. These states have answered in the affirmative 12 out of 19 questions (63.2 per cent) in implementing some of the provisions of the Act.

Jammu and Kashmir is at the bottom of the table as it has scored the lowest with 0 per cent.

“58.3 per cent states have not notified the state rules – they should have been notified within the six months of the enforcement of the Act.

“50 per cent of the states and union territories from which the responses were received have not yet constituted the State Advisory Boards (SAB) and 83.3 per cent are yet to constitute District Committees,” the study has stated.

There are no Commissioners for Persons with Disabilities in 37.5 per cent of the states. The remaining 62.5 per cent states where the Commissioners have been appointed there is not much progress.

Many states don’t have full-time commissioners. Only three states (12.5 pc) have constituted Advisory Committees (J&K not included) comprising of experts to assist the State Commissioner.79.2 per cent of the states have not constituted the State Fund to implement the Act (including J&K).

Only four states (16.7 pc) have appointed a Nodal Officer in the District Education Office to exclusive deal with matters relating to admission of children with disabilities,” the study has stated. These states also does not include Jammu and Kashmir.

58.3 per cent of the States have not notified Special Courts in the districts for trying offences under the Act (J&K included).

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