We all live in a society where different kinds of people share the environment with us. Men, women, old aged people, children, poor, rich, labor, employed, unemployed, and now even LGBT people possess one or the other, few rights which have been distributed equally between everyone by our constitution.
While talking about such rights and their distribution among different sorts of people, we often neglect people with disabilities. A disability can be of any kind, be it physical, mental or even both. But these people also have the right to live in a society with equal respect and dignity as every other human being live and share the environment.
Early Phase of working on Rights of Disabled People:
The first statute regarding disabled people and providing benefits to them came in the year 1995 known as Persons with Disabilities (Equal Opportunities, Protection of Rights and Full Participation) Act. The new statute came on December 28th 2016 by the assent of President on 27th December 2016. It repealed the act of 1995 which was stated to be outdated and new rules and reforms were needed to establish according to the latest trends and laws and forms of disabilities in India.
The birth of the statute was because of the ratification of a treaty by India. The United Nations General Assembly adopted the Rights of Persons with Disabilities on the 13th day of December 2006.
The Rights of the Person with Disability Act 2016:
The Right of Persons with Disability act consists of some basic features including the rights, remedies and reservation provided by the government in various public offices and buildings. Respect for such persons and freedom to make one’s own choice live in a society without any discrimination, effective participation in the society, acceptance of one’s disability by the society in which he/she lives in, accessibility to everything offered to the public in general.
Disability has been defined based on an evolving and dynamic concept. Section 2(r), (s) and (f) defines benchmark disability, persons with disabilities and persons with disabilities having high support needs respectively. The act specifically mentions some of the disability which is accountable for getting benefits under this act. Section 34(1) talks about different kinds of disabilities such as dwarfism, blindness, low-vision, locomotive disability, acid attack survivors, etc.
Chapter II of the act also specifically talks about other rights. Section 3 talks about the rights provided to persons in general. Section 4 provides for rights provided to women and children having a disability. Section 5 talks about the rights to live in a community. Section 6 protects such disabled persons from cruelty and inhuman behavior. Section 7 provides for protection from abuse, violence and exploitation. The later section in chapter II talks about the electoral rights of disabled persons, right to inherit property as that of a normal person.
Penalties under the Act:
The Act also provides for penalties for offenses committed against persons with disabilities and also a violation of the provisions of the new law. Chapter XVI deals with offenses and penalties in regard to disabled persons. Any person who violates the provision of the act or any rule or regulation made under this law shall be punishable with imprisonment up to six months and/or fine of Rs. 10,000 or both and subsequent violation with imprisonment for up to two years and/or fine of Rs. 50,000 to 5 lacs to be awarded. The chapter also includes penalties and punishment for insults.
While concluding, it can only be said that a few years back, the rights of disabled persons were not recognized by the society but after the acceptance of such rights by United Nations General Assembly, this matter came into discussion among the various constituency of the world and they started to apply and recognize the rights of disabled. The act also provides for the constitution of such boards and bodies which shall take care of the rights of the disabled and see if these people are not neglected by any government or personal officials