GUWAHATI: In order to create awareness among people and to make Persons with Disabilities (PwD) aware of their rights the Social welfare department, Government of Assam in collaboration with Shishu Sarathi organized a media interaction to announce the first of a kind initiative for awareness creation of the rights of PwDs that is the rights of Persons with Disabilities Act 2016 taken up by the State government. The awareness generation programme is as per the mandate of the government under section 39 of the said law to conduct, encourage, support and promote awareness and sensitization programme to ensure that the rights of PwDs provided under the Act are protected.
On her introductory address, Ketaki Bardalai, Executive Director, Shishu Sarothi said, “Disability is a cross-cutting issue and although it is in the domain of the social welfare department, the provisions of the new law shift the onus of implementation of the law to authorities across different departments of the state machinery as a whole. Unlike earlier PwD Act 1995, this law provides for inclusion of the private sector within the regulatory framework.”
Commissioner for PwDs Assam Kausar J Hilaly said, “As the commissioner I’m as much a watchdog for implementation of the RPwD Act. Providing accessible services is not a question of having demands and ensuring supply. Rather, it is a question of having systems and services in place that are accessible. We must create an environment for PwDs, so that they can freely go to any government office while taking up their issues. Making the government employees aware of sign language is one such example.”