SHILLONG, May 3: National Human Rights Commission Special Rapporteur Prasanna Kumar has stated that the implementation of the Rights for Person with Disabilities Act, 2017 requires the active participation of the civil societies.
“Without the involvement of the civil society it is not possible to implement the various provisions of the Act in letter and spirit,” Kumar who is also the former Chief Commissioner for Persons with Disabilities said while delivering his keynote address during the State Level Sensitisation Workshop on the Rights of Person with Disabilities Act, 2017 which was held at Yojana Bhavan here on Thursday.
He further said the prevailing trend that the responsibility to implement the Act is left only to the to the Social Welfare department is not a welcome trend.
“The various government departments need to cooperate in the implementation of the Act. This will ensure the effective implementation of the Act,” the former Chief Commissioner for Persons with Disabilities said.
Kumar said if a person with disability is provided with adequate and proper training, education and equal opportunities, every disable person is capable of becoming an agent of change.
He further added: “Disability is neither a charity nor medical issue; it is a development and human rights issue.
He also stressed on the need to recognize the fundamental normality of every individual including persons with disability.
The former Chief Commissioner for Persons with Disabilities also shared that social, cultural and economic rights of persons of disability have to be recognized progressively while civil and political rights have to be made available forthwith.
Meanwhile, speaking on the occasion, Social Welfare Minister Kyrmen Shylla said that the total population of the People with Disabilities in Meghalaya is 44,300 adding that a total number of 37,109 have been provided with disability certificate adding that the certificate is important for availing the various benefits provided by the Government.
He also urged upon the NGOs working with People with Disabilities to assist the State Government in the successful implementation of the Act.
The Minister said that in Meghalaya several schemes are implemented for persons with disabilities through the Social Welfare and other allied departments. He also informed that the District Session Court has been notified to be a special court in every district for trial of offences Under Section 84 so that the aggrieved persons with disabilities can find redressal closer to their doorstep.
The Chief Guest hoped that after the workshop all stakeholders, government officials and NGOs would have a clear understanding of their duties and responsibilities as per the new legislation.
He added that all must strive towards an inclusive society which gives equal opportunity to all, and persons with disabilities can utilize the facilities available in the community and live a life of dignity.