• stumble
  • youtube
  • linkedin

Archives for : Disability

Shameless – #AirIndia made a disabled woman passenger crawl #Vaw #WTFnews

I was howling and crawling, Air India is lying’: disability activist’s account of AI’s insensitivity
“I asked him, “You are a human being right?” and he just laughed it off in embarrassment”

I was howling and crawling, Air India is lying’: disability activist’s account of AI’s insensitivity
“I asked him, “You are a human being right?” and he just laughed it off in embarrassment”
TNM Staff| Sunday, January 31, 2016 – 11:39

On Friday evening, disability activist Anita Ghai landed at Delhi airport from Dehradun on an Air India flight. A seasoned traveller, she waited with patience for her wheelchair to arrive, for which she had put in a request earlier as per procedure. But it did not, and in a shockingly insensitive incident, she was made to crawl on the tarmac from the aircraft to the coach.

Here is Anita Ghai’s full account of what happened, as told to The News Minute.

There was no problem at the Dehradun airport when I boarded the flight.

I told the air hostess there to inform the staff at Delhi that a wheelchair will be required there. I am a seasoned traveller and a person with disability, so I know that I have to remind them that this has to be arranged. I told her three times, in fact she got irritated too, but I reminded her like I always do.

I am a very patient traveller, I know that I can only get down after all the passengers deplane, so I always wait.

My friend Indrani Majumdar was travelling with me, I asked her to go ahead but she insisted that she will stay back with me

We kept waiting, and till 8 15PM there was no sign of the wheelchair. (The flight landed at 7 30PM)

Then I had to get down from the entrance of the aircraft to the tarmac by squatting on the small staircase. It was a small aircraft so there were just three steps, but I had to squat on each step and get down.  I would not have been able to get down if it was a huge aircraft with a high staircase.

There was an airline staffer from Delhi, and he had no clue about what to do, he did not know whether the wheelchair was asked for or not. I asked him, “You are a human being right?” and he just laughed it off in embarrassment without any proper answer.

The captain of the flight was trying to get me help, he tried to contact the control room but he could not get to them.

After about 10 minutes, the coach came near the aircraft, and to my shock there was no wheelchair even in the coach. Now I was furious. I asked them if they can please get the coach to the entrance of the flight, but they said it was not possible due to security reasons. The coach was about 20 meters away. I can understand security concerns, but what am I to do then? I had to crawl. There was no other way.

I was so traumatized at that time. I can speak to you now, but at that time, I was just howling and crawling.

I got the wheel chair only at the arrival hall, not before that.

Air India is blatantly lying when they say they gave me a wheel chair.

I am going to write to the Managing Director of Air India on Monday. I have lodged a complaint with the duty manager already. But I have not got a single call from them since (as of Sunday morning). Nobody has called me and they are instead lying now, which is what making me furious.

I am not asking for anything but an unconditional apology from Air India. They just cannot do this to people with disabilities.

I have been travelling for almost 30 years, and I am 57-years old. There have been delays in the past, but never have I been denied a wheelchair. This is the first time it has happened to me, be it Air India or any other airline.


  • See more at:

Related posts

#Sundayreading – ‘In Joy Or In Pain, Women Must Talk’- Maria Da Penha #Vaw

‘In Joy Or In Pain, Women Must Talk’


Kamayani Bali-Mahabal

FORTALEZA( BRAZIL)- Maria da Penha Maia Fernandes was fast asleep when her husband, Antonio Heredia Vivero, a teacher, shot at her. Though she was rushed to the hospital, the attack left her paraplegic. Four months later, when she came back home, Vivero made another attempt on her life – he tried to electrocute her. But Maria survived yet again. …

In thousands of homes across Brazil, women like Maria are subjected to extreme abuse by their husbands on an everyday basis. Recent statistics reveal a rather alarming picture. Every 15 seconds a woman is assaulted; every two hours a woman is murdered; 65 per cent of attacks on women happen behind closed doors. Whereas Brazil has the seventh highest rate of violence against women in the world, within the past three decades at least 92,000 women have succumbed to domestic violence.

Special law

Maria, however, has beaten these dismal odds. Instead of taking things lying down, she decided to fight a pitched battle against domestic violence to the extent that her efforts have resulted in a special law being named after her. The Maria da Penha Law on Domestic and Family Violence is one of the most comprehensive legislations in the world that gives the tate the powers to arrest, prosecute and punish perpetrators of violence against women.

Recalling her early days, Maria says, “I met my aggressor when I was doing my master’s at the University of São Paulo. He was a student from Colombia and was popular with my friends. When I went back to my hometown, Fortaleza, after completing my degree, he accompanied me. We got close and I married him. That was when he applied for Brazilian citizenship, and as soon as he got it, he started showing his true colours.”

It was in May 1983 that Vivero decided to do away with her altogether. “I was sleeping when I heard a shot, a very loud noise, in my bedroom. I tried to move but couldn’t. Thankfully, our neighbours came to my rescue and rushed me to a hospital. When the police questioned my husband he told them that four thieves had broken into our home and that he had fought them off. The attack had left me paraplegic, and I was under intensive treatment for nearly four months.

“I came back home at the time because I had no inkling that he was the shooter. But when he kept me in forced confinement at home for more than 15 days and tried to electrocute me, I knew I could not continue with that relationship. However, I still needed a legal separation from him so that I could take my three daughters with me when I left. I couldn’t risk losing their custody. As soon as I got the papers I returned to my parents,” she narrates.

In January 1984, she filed a case of attempted murder against her former husband. That was when her battle for justice began. It took seven years before he was sentenced by jury to 15 years in prison. The defence appealed the sentence and the conviction was overturned. A new trial was held in 1996 and a sentence of 10 years was applied. However, Vivero remained at large.

“I decided to write a book, ‘Sobrevivi… posso contra [‘I Survived… I Can Tell My Story’], on my experiences and the contradictions in the legal proceedings. This work was noticed by two non-government organisations, CLADEM (The Latin American and Caribbean Committee for the Defense of Women’s Rights) and CEJIL (Centre for Justice and International Law) that invited me to submit a case against Brazil to the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights of the Organisation of American States (OAS),” she says.

Brazil, however, did not answer the petition and remained silent throughout the procedure. Later, in a landmark ruling, the Commission criticised the Brazilian government for not taking effective measures to prosecute and convict perpetrators of domestic violence. In March 2002, the penal process in Brazil was terminated, and in October, Vivero was arrested. He received a sentence of just over six years for two counts of attempted murder, but he has served only two by making use of judicial remedies.

Meanwhile, between 2002 and 2004, several NGOs, including CLADEM, created a consortium to draft an improved domestic violence law. On August 7, 2006, following several discussions and consultations between the civil society and the state of Brazil, the Maria da Penha Law was approved.

Working as a coordinator Of Studies for the Association of Relatives and Friends of Victims of Violence in Ceara, Maria, who is wheelchair bound, is glad that the new law upholds the interests of women.

“This law is here to not just protect women from domestic violence but also to prevent it and also punish the aggressors. We need more number of women’s police stations, centres where survivors can seek preventive help and shelters for those who have walked out of their homes. In addition, we have to make sure that speedy trials happen in these cases so that justice is not delayed. It took 19 years and six months for my case to finally wrap up,” she says.

The advent of the Maria da Penha Law has given a new lease of life to the women’s movement. The central thought behind the enactment of this law, that every woman has the right to live her life free from domestic violence, has been widely publicised throughout the country through lectures, courses and trainings conducted within communities, schools, universities, businesses and institutions.

Nonetheless, Maria is convinced that a lot more needs to be done to secure women. “Women are still being murdered within their own homes by those who should be protecting and loving them. Before the law, although domestic violence was a crime it was considered a low potential offence. That reality has changed now and, indeed, wherever I go women acknowledge how much things have changed for them ever since 2006. But I do feel we need more financial resources to enforce all the measures the law promises,” she asserts.

The determined rights-activist is particularly referring to women living in the smaller towns where patriarchy still has a stronghold and there are not enough women’s police stations or shelters to safeguard them from harm.

“The law talks of setting up special courts and stricter sentences for offenders, besides other prevention and relief measures, in cities that have more than 60,000 inhabitants. But what about those living in small cities?” she says. In a sense, Maria feels that it’s not a law but a change in the attitude of the people that can bring about lasting change. “Till date, it’s the macho culture that has interfered with the creation of more gender friendly public policies. That has to change,” she adds.

Of course, the beginnings of a transformation are visible. On the fifth anniversary of the law in August 2011, the National Council of Justice of Brazil collected data showing positive results: more than 331,000 prosecutions and 110,000 final judgments, and nearly two million calls to the Service Centre for Women.

On its part the government has launched the Women, Living Without Violence programme, under which $265 million have been pledged to integrate public services and create women-friendly policies.

No more silent

With hope in her voice and a sparkle in her eyes Maria concludes, “In a society fuelled by machismo, there is bound to be a lot of resistance to change. But I believe that through our work we can motivate fellow citizens to fight for women’s rights. We are not silent anymore. Today, women’s voices cross borders and oceans. Together we are stronger and we hope that one day we will only be telling stories of our pain and struggle in the past.”


Related posts

Wartime Violence against Disabled Women Often Ignored

By Juhie Bhatia

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Disability rights activists called for a variety of remedies during a panel of a major London conference last week. “If you have reduced mobility, it makes it that much harder to run when everyone else is fleeing from the village, you may have less chance to run away,” said one speaker.




Credit: Foreign and Commonwealth Office on Flickr, under Creative Commons


LONDON (WOMENSENEWS)–International rights activists here recently pressed for the needs of women and children with disabilities to be addressed in international efforts to curb sexual violence in conflict zones.

“Disabled individuals are at least three times as likely to be experiencing sexual violence in conflict situations or in non-conflict situations,” said Judith Heumann, special advisor for international disability rights at the U.S. State Department, adding that baseline levels of violence get greater during conflict. “The data has been relatively minimal because in many areas, I think we can say in the U.S. and Great Britain and countries around the world, the issue of sexual violence in the area of disability is only a newly emerging discussion.”

Heumann participated in a panel discussion that was one of 175 public events at the Global Summit to End Sexual Violence in Conflictwhich was hosted here by U.K. Foreign Secretary William Hague and Angelina Jolie, the special envoy for the U.N. high commissioner for refugees, from June 10 to 13. The meeting drew a mix of activists, politicians, survivors, faith leaders and other officials. With representatives from more than 100 countries, summit organizers said it was the largest gathering on the issue. 

While delegates worked on tackling the impunity around sexual violence in conflict zones through an released during the event and changing global attitudes to these crimes, Heumann’s panel highlighted the various ways in which women with disabilities may be at greater risk of violence, including gender-based violence, during pre-conflict, conflict and post-conflict times.

“Conflict in violence, whether it’s sexual gender-based violence or intimate-partner violence, is of course a significant cause of impairments [disabilities] in and of itself,” said Maria Kett, assistant director of theLeonard Cheshire Disability and Inclusive Development Centre in London, during the panel. “Persons with disabilities may have been born with disabilities or they may have acquired them.”

Panelists called for such remedies as including women with disabilities in post-conflict peace-building processes, more research, sensitivity training for judges, social workers, police and others in the community and improved support and services.

Compounded Risks

“If you have reduced mobility, it makes it that much harder to run when everyone else is fleeing from the village, you may have less chance to run away. If you have a hearing impairment you are less able to hear if someone is coming behind you to attack you,” said Kett.

However, she added, that’s not always the main factor. When this group is overlooked the risks can be compounded. “Even when there are initiatives in place to protect men and women, girls and boys, from sexual and gender-based violence, oftentimes certain groups are excluded. That may not be deliberate. But if you don’t put your message across and make information accessible in all formats, languages, if you don’t make sure your venues for your meetings are accessible, if you don’t reach out to disabled communities themselves, then you won’t necessarily be including those people.”

Rates of violence may be 4-to-10 times higher among those with disabilities than their non-disabled peers, found an April report from the Women’s Refugee Commission. Women, children and older persons with disabilities are particularly vulnerable to discrimination, exploitation and violence, said the report, and women and girls were more likely to report sexual violence, with those with intellectual and mental disabilities among the most at risk.

Factors that can make women and girls with disabilities more vulnerable to sexual violence, according to the report, include stigma and double discrimination for being a woman and having a disability, isolation, poverty, service providers questioning their credibility, a lack of knowledge about gender-based violence and insufficient support and services.

The State Department’s Heumann said women with new disabilities may be especially isolated. “One of issues has been that many women’s groups have not really been including disabled women in the work that they’ve been doing,” she said. “You have women not from the disability community who are acquiring disabilities, where the primary groups they would go to, maybe women’s groups, aren’t sensitive to the disability issue.” As a result, Heumann said, such women can be left “kind of out there on their own.”

Post-Conflict Situations

This exclusion can also happen in post-conflict situations. A 2008 Women’s Refugee Commission report showed that female refugees with disabilities often found themselves in refugee camps that were ill-equipped to meet their needs, with problems with the camps’ physical layout and infrastructure. A different report, prepared by the Violence Against Women with Disabilities Working Group in 2012, said that justice and post-conflict reconciliation activities rarely include women with disabilities.

Heumann said the U.N. Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, adopted in 2006, is a step in the right direction to addressing some of these issues. The international treaty, she said, has been ratified by more than 145 countries, though not the United States.

Lee Webster, head of policy and influencing at Womankind Worldwide, an international women’s rights charity based in London, said right now is an especially significant time to discuss next steps, with the deadline for the U.N.’s Millennium Development Goals, a set of international commitments to improve global living standards, coming next year.

“Violence against women and girls was a gaping hole in the MDGs,” Webster said during the panel. “What comes next and what is in the post-2015 framework in terms of overall goals, targets and indicators is vitally important because what’s there is what gets measured and what gets measured is what gets funded. So we need to make sure that persons with disabilities, and particularly violence against disabled women and violence against  women and girls, is firmly in that framework so we do have a framework for action moving forward.”

Read more here –

Related posts

Press Release – Screening of Passengers with Special Needs and Medical Conditions


Government of India


Ministry of Civil Aviation 




English: A collection of pictograms. Three of ...

English: A collection of pictograms. Three of them used by the United States National Park Service. A package containing those three and all NPS symbols is available at the Open Icon Library (Photo credit: Wikipedia)



SoP for Screening of Passengers with Special Needs and Medical Conditions 




Bureau of Civil Aviation Security has issued procedure for screening of passengers and carry – on baggage vide Circular No. 23/2005. The procedure for screening of persons with special needs including differently – abled passengers and passengers with medical condition, has been described in the said circular. The Standard Operating Procedure (SoP) is laid down in the following paragraphs, prescribing the guidelines for screening of such passengers and devices, appliances and carry–ons pertaining to them.



The provisions contained in this SOP shall be applicable to the following:



(i)         All Indian airlines/ carriers engaged in scheduled and non-scheduled air transport services both domestic and international;



(ii)        All foreign airlines/ carriers engaged in scheduled air transport operating to and from Indian Territory.



(iii)       All airport operators, including private/JVs, within Indian Territory.



(iv)       Aviation Security Group (ASG) / CISF / APSU deployed at airports.



I           Person with disability means any individual who has a physical or mental impairment that, on a permanent or temporary basis, substantially limits one or more major life activities, has a record of such impairment, or is regarded as having such impairment.



(a)        Physical or mental impairment means:



(1)        any physiological disorder or condition, cosmetic disfigurement, or anatomical loss affecting one or more of the following body systems: neurological, musculoskeletal, special sense organs, respiratory including speech organs, cardio-vascular, reproductive, digestive, genito-urinary, hemic and lymphatic, skin, and endocrine; or



(2)        any mental or psychological disorder, such as mental retardation, organic brain syndrome, emotional or mental illness, and specific learning disabilities.



The term physical or mental impairment includes, but is not limited to, such diseases and conditions as orthopedic, visual, speech, and hearing impairments; cerebral palsy, epilepsy, muscular dystrophy, multiple sclerosis, cancer, heart disease, diabetes, mental retardation, emotional illness, autism, drug addiction, alcoholism and geriatric disabilities.



(b)        Major life activities means functions such as caring for one’s self, performing manual tasks, walking, seeing, hearing, speaking, breathing, learning and working.



(c)        Has a record of such impairment means has a history of, or has been classified, or misclassified, as having a mental or physical impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities.



II.        A person with reduced mobility (PRM) means any person whose mobility when using transport is reduced due to any physical disability (sensory or locomotor permanent or temporary), intellectual disability or impairment, or any other cause of disability, or age, and whose situation needs appropriate attention and the adaptation to his or her particular needs of the service made available to all passengers.



III.       Incapacitated passengers are those with physical or mental disability or with a medical condition, who require individual attention or assistance on emplaning/



All airport operators should make special arrangements to facilitate screening of persons with special needs as above so that the process is carried out efficiently keeping the dignity and privacy of the passenger in mind while ensuring adequate level of screening. This will include provision of suitable enclosed space for private screening of passengers covered in this SoP.



The airport management/representative of air carrier shall provide wheel chairs and render necessary assistance to facilitate the movement of the persons with special needs, when required. However, they would not normally be directly taken to the aircraft, except in case of ambulance passengers.



While thorough checking is essential and the directives under AVSEC circular No. 23/2005 will be followed in letter and spirit, courtesy and attention to privacy and dignity will be invariably observed.



In the case of a passenger having difficulty in walking or standing, the way his or her screening is conducted will depend on his or her level of ability/disability.



       If a passenger has difficulty standing or waiting in line due to a disability or a medical condition, he/ she should duly inform the screening personnel who will assist in directing the passenger either to front of the queue or to a separate line. Passengers should be encouraged to indicate brief details of their disability at the time of booking of the ticket itself and in case of such prior information, airlines and security staff shall make advance preparation for such passengers.



Medical documentation is helpful but not essential.



Canes, crutches and other devices which can be separated from the passengers should be subjected to x ray screening.



       Wherever testing is done for detection of explosives, in addition to ETD, help of dog squad may be taken as per need. However, sensitivity of passenger and religious considerations may be kept in mind.



The procedure laid down herein is not exhaustive, and therefore, in the situations/ circumstances not exclusively dealt with in this SoP, commonsense of the screener shall prevail depending upon the situation, circumstances and condition of the passenger. For example, special procedure may be devised for persons with autism, down syndrome etc.  The paramount importance is to ensure aviation security and at the same time safeguarding dignity of the passengers and preserving privacy.



Screening of passengers who use wheel chair or scooters (i.e. self – driven wheel chair)


1.      When a passenger arrives at a screening point in a wheel chair / scooter, he/she must be accompanied either by another travelling passenger or an airline representative (including GHA of the airline) before he proceeds through security. The accompanying passenger or the airline representative is responsible for the passenger throughout the whole process of screening.



2.      If a passenger arrives at a screening point in a wheelchair and he/she is not accompanied by another travelling passenger or an airline representative, the airline’s Customer Service should be contacted for assistance.



3.      At the screening point, depending upon the ability of the passenger to walk, he/she will be requested to walk through the DFMD unaided. If he/she cannot walk, it is the responsibility of the accompanying travelling passenger or the airline representative to push the passenger in the wheelchair unless it is self – driven.



4.      In accordance with Airlines’ policy, there may also be non travelling support personnel in   attendance to board the aircraft and lift the passenger into his/ her seat. This support person must be accompanied by the airline representative.



5.      If there is a requirement for the passenger to be lifted at the screening point, the support person or the airline representative will perform the lifting for the passenger.



6.      The support person will be escorted by an Airline representative at the time of boarding/ disembarkation.



7.      If the passenger can stand but cannot walk, he/she can be screened by undergoing a pat-down while he/she stands beside the wheelchair or scooter.



8.      If a passenger cannot stand, he/she should be offered a chair for screening and subjected to a pat-down thereafter.



9.      If there is an alarm by the DFMD, HHMD or other technology, the same must be resolved. If the alarm cannot be resolved, the passenger will not be permitted beyond the checkpoint.



10.  The passenger’s wheelchair or scooter will be inspected, including the seat cushions and any pouches/ pockets.  It will be tested for traces of explosives. Removable pouches will be x-ray screened.



11.  Any carry – on bag or document with the wheelchair passenger shall be passed through the x-ray screening.



12.  If a person objects to proceeding through the DFMD on justified medical or other ground, he/ she will be allowed passage through alternative way by the frisking officer and then subjected to screening by pat down search and HHMD where permissible.



13.  If a person refuses to undergo screening, the frisking officer will inform the supervisor, who will direct what further action is to be taken. The concerned passenger will not be allowed entry past the screening point.



14.  Only when satisfied that a person is not carrying any prohibited or dangerous article, the screening officer shall allow the person to proceed beyond the screening point.



Screening of passenger with prosthetics


1.      During screening of prosthetics ASG/APSU may use X-ray. ETD and visual check depending on the circumstances.



2.      The passenger should inform the ASG/APSU of the existence of a prosthetic, his or her ability and of any need for assistance before screening begins. Passengers can use Notification Card to communicate discreetly with security officers. However, showing this card or other medical documentation will not exempt a passenger from additional screening when necessary.



3.      Dignity and privacy of the passengers should be borne in mind during the entire process of security screening. Where the officer needs to see the prosthetic, care should be taken against exposing any sensitive areas. ASG/APSU will also use technology to test the prosthetic for traces of explosive material. If explosive material is detected, the passenger will have to undergo additional screening.



4.      Passenger with prosthetics or braces/support appliances must be accompanied by an airline representative, preferable of the same gender as the passenger.



5.      The staff of airline and any other accompanying person shall be frisked and checked before allowing them access to the passenger with prosthetics at the screening point.



6.      The passenger will first pass through the DFMD and necessary security checks.



7.      The passenger should then be taken to a private screening point and made to sit comfortably. He/she will receive additional screening including a pat-down. If necessary, screening through ETD trace will be adopted. While dealing with prosthetic device and during taking off and putting on of clothes, privacy of the passenger should be maintained.



8.      Screening of the prosthetic appliance will include x-ray screening, ETD detection and visual inspection. During visual inspection, care should be taken that sensitive parts are not exposed.



9.      The screening in the private screening area will be carried out by two officials, one to handle to HHMD and pat-down and the other to inspect the prosthetics, braces and support appliance and subject them to additional screening.



Screening of passengers who cannot remove shoes, medical device or bandages



1.      Passengers who cannot remove their shoes due to a medical condition should inform the supervisor, SHA before screening.



2.      Passenger can be screened using DFMD and/ or a whole – body pat – down.



3.      The shoes may be subjected to additional screening like ETD, etc.



4.      Passengers can be screened without disconnecting external medical devices and submitting them for x-ray. Such devices include Insulin pumps, Hearing aids, Cochlear implants, Spinal stimulators, Bone growth stimulators and Ostomies.



5.      Under most circumstances, a passenger can conduct a self pat-down of these devices followed by ETD screening of his/ her hands.



6.      The devices should also be physically checked against any outside interference in the manufacturing.



7.      Casts, braces and support appliances will be thoroughly inspected without exposing sensitive areas as far as possible.  ETD screening will also be used to test for traces of explosive materials, where possible.



8.      In case of bandages and/ or dressing, while caution will be observed during pat-down, it needs to be ensured that the covered area is free of threat item. Metal detector, observation and self pat-down followed by ETD checks may suffice in most cases.



9.      Passengers with metal implants will be subjected to a thorough pat-down, and the metal alarm should be resolved satisfactorily. The full body pat down should include the following:



                                         i.       It should concentrate on upper legs and torso.



                                       ii.       Special attention should be given to the chest and abdomen areas of the body.



                                     iii.       Particular focus should be on any skin surface abnormalities or wires or tubes exiting the body that may be signs of an implanted device.



10.  In accordance with BCAS memo. no. CAS – 3 (32)/ 2009/ DIV – III B (SA Kolkata) dt 5.9.2010, all airport operators shall display a board near SHA in a prominent way stating that DFMD/ HHMD are safe for pacemaker and for pregnant ladies.



Screening of passengers with service animals:



If the passenger has a service animal, the instructions issued by AVSEC circular no. 6/2001 shall be implemented. If the service animal is permitted to be carried on board the following



instructions shall be followed.



a.                The animal must be wearing a harness, vest, or other identifier that it is a service animal.



b.               The passenger must maintain control of the animal at all times.



c.                He or she should not be separated from the service animal.



d.               The screening officer should ask for permission of the passenger before touching the animal.



e.                Service animals are screened using walk through metal detector followed by a pat down. There are three options:



                                               i.      The service animal goes first and the passenger follows holding the leash.



                                             ii.      The passenger goes first holding the leash and the service animal follows.



                                           iii.      The passenger and the service animal go together.



f.                Regardless of who goes through the metal detector first, the screening officer will perform a physical inspection of the animal and its belongings (collar, harness, leash, backpack, vest, etc.). The belongings will not be removed from the animal.



g.               The passenger should not make contact with service animal (other than maintain control of the leash) until the animal has been cleared.



h.               Medication for serving animals will be subjected to x – ray and other screening, if required, separately. These also should be separated from other items in the passenger carry-on.



Ambulance passengers



Due to exigencies of their exceptional medical conditions/ illness, some passengers are directly taken through the security gates to the aircraft for boarding. In such cases, as far as possible, the airport operator/ airline should provide its own ambulance.



a.             The passenger and all occupants of the vehicle should be subjected to a pre – embarkation security check at the security gate by the ASG/ APSU staff under the supervision of an officer not below the rank of an Inspector. The ambulance should be permitted to proceed to the aircraft only after this check has been completed.



b.            In case the ambulance is privately owned or hospital provided, it must be led by follow – me vehicle of the airport operator. The ASG/ APSU staff shall check to ensure that the vehicles do not carry anything objectionable and are not being accompanied by unauthorized persons or persons who have no need to be in the vehicles. Such ambulance will be escorted by ASG/APSU staff.



c.             All occupants of the vehicles, unless exempted, must be screened at the gate before allowing entry into the airport.



d.            The movement of the ambulance should be coordinated well in advance by the airline operator with CASO and airport operator.



Screening of medication and associated supplies


a.            All medications and associated supplies (i.e., syringes, sharps disposal container, pens, infusers etc.) are allowed through the checkpoint only after they have been screened.



b.            Medication and related supplies are normally x – rayed.



c.             Passengers have the option of requesting a visual inspection of medications and associated supplies with due reason.



d.            Any medication that cannot be cleared visually must be submitted for x – ray screening.



e.             BCAS has issued detailed guidelines regarding carriage of liquids, aerosols and gel (LAGs) on board vide AVSEC Circular No. 18/ 2006. Medically necessary LAGs are permitted in excess of 100 ml on need basis after they have been screened. These items are subject to additional screening through visual inspection and ETD swipe, if necessary.



If a passenger has medically necessary LAGs, he or she needs to :



                                            i.      Limit the amount to what is reasonably necessary for the itinerary;



                                          ii.      Separate these items from the other LAGs;



                                        iii.      Declare the items; and,



                                        iv.      Present these items for additional inspection on reaching the security check point.



X-ray screening of respiratory equipment


a.       Supplemental oxygen and other respiratory related equipment are permitted through the checkpoint once they have been screened. This is subject to DGCA regulations also.



b.      If a passenger can disconnect from the oxygen, the oxygen container will undergo x – ray screening.



c.       Passengers who cannot disconnect from respiratory equipment will be screened by undergoing a pat – down.



d.      Respiratory equipment that is not x – rayed will be visually and physically inspected, and will be subject to ETD screening.











Enhanced by Zemanta

Related posts

UID excludes 1.4 million children in India #Aadhaar #Disability

Cartoon of a man being checked on biometric fe...

Kamayani Bali Mahabal aka Kractivist

India is home to the largest number of children in the world,significantly larger than the number in China. The country has 20 percent of the 0-4 years’ child population of the world. The number of live births in the country is estimated to be 27 million,2 which again constitutes 20 per cent of the total number of live births in the



The UID working paper on UID and Iris says that collecting and de-duplicating the biometrics of children is a challenge – face and finger biometrics are not stable until the age of 16. The lack of de-duplication of a child’s biometrics would require that the child’s

UID be linked to the parents’UIDs in the database and the child’s ID is not issued on the basis of deduplication of his/her biometrics.


This however, increases the risk of duplicates/fakes among UIDs for children.


Lets look at one state Jharkhand , where kids eyes bear brunt of poor diet .More than 54 percent of the around 52 lakh children in Jharkhand suffer from malnourishment and a

large number of them have eye-related ailments like cataract,according to data made available by the state government.




Out of the total global population of visually challenged of 45 million, 12 million are in India. Children below 16 years account for 1.4 million cases of blindness in India.


Hence , UID will actually exclude million of cases because of malnutrition-induced Cataract. Finger prints, too, would generate a lot of noisy data which may ultimately be unusable. There are no existing standards for the creation / collection of biometric data in India and consequently no way to monitor the process.


There is no means of controlling the recording and retrieval of data about children, and that is especially serious since our jurisprudence clearly states that the records relating to children except public exam marks should not

be carried into adulthood. This is especially important where the child has had a difficult growing up and may have encountered problems of being a `neglected child’ or a `child in conflict with the law’.


These are specifically proscribed from being carried into adulthood,with good reason. The UID, with its ability to link up data bases poses a threat to this important area of personal safety and protection of the child.


I want to ask UIDAI are we sending our kids to school or to prison? We wouldnt accept fingerprinting for adults without informed consent so it is utterly outrageous that children as young as five are being targeted. As a parent we make decisions for our children on a daily

basis some will affect their lives for the next few minutes others will potentially affect the rest of their lives.When replacing any existing system it is often easier to see how a new system fixes the


shortcomings in the existing system, but often its the case that any new system also comes with its own set of weaknesses some of which were not immediately evident.


What are the consequences of imposing this untried project that is in a legal vacuum on the children in your state. China has, for instance,banned the practice of fingerprinting in schools as being too intrusive and an infringement of children’s rights.The question of

informed consent is an important element in public policy.


It is also ironical that the Indian state is promoting the UID projectin India at a time when several countries across the world (including the USA, the UK, Australia, China, Canada and Germany) have scrapped similar projects. In UK, there are schools which use fingerprints to

identify individuals arriving at school, in a tactic to reduce truancy. Pupils would touch a fingerprint reader to show they were in school or in an individual lesson. But there have been concerns about how such personal biometric data is stored or who else might have access to such information. And there have also been disputes about

the rules governing the collection and use of such data from young people.


India has ratified the International Covenant on Child Rights and the


Article 2 of the CRC States Parties shall take all appropriate measures to ensure that the child is protected against all forms of discrimination or punishment on the basis of the status, activities,expressed opinions, or beliefs of the child’s parents, legal,guardians, or family members.


Article 8 states that the States Parties undertake to respect the right of the child to preserve his or her

identity, including nationality, name and family relations as recognized by law without unlawful interference. When replacing any existing system, it is often easier to see how a new system fixes the

shortcomings in the existing system, but often it is the case that any new system also comes with its own set of weaknesses some of whichwere not immediately evident.


How UID will kill Patient rights #Healthcare #Aadhaar

Coercive Politics of UID and Scholarships


India – are we being Made Guinea Pigs #UID




The Fingerprint Authentication Report is at


The Iris PoC on authentication is at


Report from a study done in Notre Dame University on iris aging, especially because of the presumption with which the Iris PoC starts, that iris is unchanging, at

Enhanced by Zemanta

Related posts

Press Release – IDA condemns use of force by Indian Police against PWD #disability



English: A collection of pictograms. Three of ...

English: A collection of pictograms. Three of them used by the United States National Park Service. A package containing those three and all NPS symbols is available at the Open Icon Library (Photo credit: Wikipedia)


Member Organizations:
Arab Organization of Persons with Disabilities, Disabled People’s International,
Down Syndrome International, European Disability Forum,
Inclusion International, International Federation of Hard of Hearing People,
Latin American Network of Non-Governmental Organizations of Persons with
Disabilities and their Families, Pacific Disability Forum,
World Blind Union, World Federation of the Deaf,
World Federation of the DeafBlind,
World Network of Users and Survivors of Psychiatry

Press release

The International Disability Alliance condemns the use of force by Indian police against persons with disabilities

The International Disability Alliance (IDA) strongly condemns the use of force by Indian police against a peaceful protest of persons with disabilities on 27 February 2014. The demonstration, occurring outside the All-India Congress Committee Headquarters in New Delhi, was organized to express opposition to an ordinance for a Rights of Persons with Disabilities Bill.

IDA demands a swift response by the Indian government to immediately address the violence occurring against demonstrators of the disability movement, in line with the commitments agreed to in the ratification of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UN CRPD). IDA also calls on the United Nations to ensure that India respects its obligations and takes action to protect the rights of persons with disabilities, enshrined in the UN CRPD.

The International Disability Alliance (IDA) is a network of eight global and four regional organisations of persons with disabilities and their families (DPOs), representing the estimated one billion persons with disabilities worldwide. Founded in 1999, as a network of international disability rights organisations, a unique composition, that allows IDA to act as an authoritative and representative voice of persons with disabilities in the United Nations (UN) system in New York, Geneva and worldwide. IDA’s Advocacy seeks to advance Human Rights utilising the UNCRPD and other Conventions, harnessing the strengthened united voice of its members, forging working relationships with partners to achieve common goals inclusive of persons with disabilities worldwide.

Geneva Office: 150 route de Ferney, PO Box 2100, CH 1211 Geneva 2, Switzerland
New York Office: 245 Park Avenue, 39th Floor, New York, NY 10167, United States
IDA Website:

Press Release in Word Version


Enhanced by Zemanta

Related posts

#India – Double Cruelty of the Rights of Persons With Disabilities bill

FEBRUARY 28, 2014
Guest Post by Rijul Kochhar

In the lives of the disabled, the disability certificate is a commanding entity. It is the artefact of government and the state that interprets the myriad experiences of persons dealing with disabilities, translating and transforming those experiences into a public fact. Thus, the disability certificate offers a particular form and definition of disability, with its attendant mathematical percentage, supplanting the shards of experience with bureaucratic rationality and certitude. This transformation of messy lived experience into mathematical and medical certainty, at once, also affects that larger lived experience of lives lived with a disability[1].


Given this centrality of the certificate to disability—and given the fact that without this certificate, no disability would be publicly recognized by the state—it is surprising that scant attention has been paid to this aspect in the otherwise spirited debate on the merits of the Rights of Persons With Disabilities (RPWD) bill (version 2013-14)[2]. This is a version of the bill that now stands before a standing committee in Parliament, having been introduced in the Rajya Sabha with perfunctory, overnight amendments[3], to replace the Persons With Disabilities (Equal Opportunities, Protection of Rights and Full Participation) Act, 1995[4]. It is also the version[5] about which there is talk of promulgation through an executive ordinance, bypassing parliamentary and public consultation on a vital issue that affects millions of existing disabled persons and persons with disabilities yet to come. We deal here with how the promulgation of this deeply flawed version of the RPWD bill—through the ordinance route—not only keeps intact the lacunae of the version in Parliament[6], but also ends up harming all persons currently living with a disability in India.

To begin with, any ordinance ought to be promulgated in a scenario where it is certain that there is a viable, next-available parliamentary session in which the ordinance would be confirmed as an act of Parliament. This ensures the fundamental quality of any legislative act—a guarantee of the future, a protection against arbitrariness, and a certain measure of legislative and (pursuant to it) bureaucratic stability, till such time as Parliament, again, decides to amend, repeal or replace a legislation. The emergent election scenario in which the RPWD bill finds itself ensures a context that would lend itself to arbitrariness, an unclear future, and instability, as far as this legislation—promulgated as an ordinance—is concerned. The 15th Lok Sabha has finished its last session; unless this current political party wins the next election, there will be a political change at the helm of the executive; any ordinance must be ratified within six months by parliament, or it will cease to exist; a continuity within government usually ensures this ratification, but a change in government would bring about the emergence of a legal scene that is replete with uncertainty, arbitrariness, and instability. Within this scene, individuals would be caught up, and they would not have the existing Persons with Disabilities Act from 1995 to fall back on, nor would they have a clear status about their disability, given the opacity of the emergent RPWD legislation[7]. So, we have a real possibility of having people certified as disabled under the Ordinance who would then be disenfranchised, again, after six months, in practice—in matters of recognition, employment, education or even loans—apropos the uncertain fate of legislation itself.

The Ordinance: A threat to persons already certified as disabled

The promulgation of the Ordinance would jeopardize the status of the existing persons with disabilities. This is because bureaucracies and offices would demand certificates from such persons as per the ordinance’s requirements, rather than accept the certificates that persons already legitimately possess through the existing law from 1995. The Ordinance would repeal this 1995 Act, and in doing so, it does not clearly state what the status of existing disability certificates would be. Bureaucrats, then, would be prone to abuse their powers, arbitrarily accepting or rejecting different classes of documents: elementary ethnographic explorations of bureaucratic work bring this to us again and again, and unless the law or the ordinance clearly moves to protect the status of existing disability certificates—say by making a specific declaration to that effect, pertaining to these documents that are central to people’s lives—then we would have a situation where all persons with disabilities would stand the danger of disenfranchisement, simply because their existing certificates would refused to be accepted by bureaucrats and offices. This is no small consequence; millions of people who possess the disability certificate—as a consequence of an act of parliament from 1995—would find that their legal status is jeopardized by the machinations of an ill-conceived ordinance that does not even enjoy parliamentary legitimacy. Thus, if you are disabled, you could be confronted by a bureaucrat who refuses to accept your existing certificate. Why? Because the proposed ordinance refuses to specify what the status of those documents is, and how they are to be included in a new legislative scenario with is own (and separate) documentation rules—rules that are yet to be formulated. Add to this the work of corruption and high-handedness that we so often witness in governmental offices, and you have a situation where the disabled would be compelled to scramble from pillar to post, from ‘daftars’ to courts, in order to have their existing documentation recognized by a petty bureaucrat. This is a recipe for chaos, and it includes an invitation to corrupt practices by bureaucrats, and desperation for the disabled who are already living with a recognized disability and its attendant documentation. Simply because we have a change in laws, without adequate safeguards and protections for those living under the existing law, we have an emergent scenario where those rights, that recognitions, those certificates, would lose their traction; they would become useless. And persons with disabilities would have to re-appear before the forbidding medical boards for recertification—a prospect that terrorizes any person living with a disability who has experienced the cruelties of the certification process. These cruelties deal not only with the type of invasive medical practice that they confront on their bodies, but they also extend to corrupt practices at hospitals—practices that deny, delay, or circumvent legitimate procedures of certification. Any ethnographic investigation of the experience of disability at medical hospitals in India would highlight this troubling aspect of certification—its invasive nature, its corrupt production, and its uncertain and arbitrary results in the hand of the ‘medical authority’—qualities that are a source of great stress and phenomenal anxiety for disabled persons. People with legitimate certificates would—in all possible ways—wish to avoid a repeat of the cruelties of this process, especially if specific provisions regarding certification in the 1995 law have, heretofore, shielded them[8] from these excesses of certification beyond the necessary-poison of first time certification.

New Categories of Disabilities: False promises of recognition and resources

Any law or ordinance works only because there are bureaucratic rules to enforce them. Given that there is no possibility of a continuation of this Parliament pending election (which is only a couple of months away), if the RPWD bill is promulgated as an ordinance, then these vital rules—that would activate the legislation or ordinance—would not have been formulated. There just isn’t enough time. The 1995 law has behind it 20 years of rule-making and case law, declared variously in office-memoranda and cases dealt with by courts. In the case of this proposed ordinance, however, those rules simply don’t exist. And without these rules—which deal with everything from the protocols guiding certification at hospitals, to reservations in jobs, to accessibility in buildings etc.—nothing would be achieved for the disabled. The RPWD bill envisages extending the benefit of recognition and reservations to 19 categories of disabilities. But this recognition is a lie, a big joke. For, without the development of medical protocols[9]which emerge out of the ‘rules’, following the enactment of legislation—the manuals on the basis of which doctors adjudge one’s disability, its severity, and its mathematical percentage, when one goes to claim one’s disability certificate[10]—none of these newly included categories of disabilities would be possible to be judged by the medical authority. It took the government 6 years, from 1995 till 2001, to come up with the appropriate guidelines for evaluation of five categories of disabilities—mental retardation, Locomotor/ Orthopaedic disability, Visual disability, Speech & Hearing disability, and multiple disabilities. These guidelines form the exhaustive medical protocols which doctors use at hospitals whenever a person with a disability approaches them for the issuance of certification. These guidelines took 6 years to be formulated under various committees operating under the chairmanship of the Director General of Health Services. How many years do we think will it take to devise protocols for the 14 new categories of disabilities that the RPWD bill envisages for inclusion—new categories of disabilities that include autism spectrum disorder; cerebral palsy; ‘chronic neurological conditions’; deafblindness; haemophilia; leprosy-cured persona; low-vision; intellectual disabilities; muscular dystrophy; multiple sclerosis; learning disabilities; speech & language disabilities; thalassemia; and sickle-cell disease? Inclusion is a virtue, but its modalities need to be worked out. And remember, no lofty ideal of disability-inclusion and recognition can be achieved for the disabled, unless these respective medical protocols exist for these specific disabilities—no benefit of reservations, no recognition of one’s disabilities would be possible in practice. Thus, to say that the Ordinance would, overnight, include heretofore excluded categories of disabilities is, at best, an overestimation, and at worst, a big cruel lie. This is because the medical protocols by which the certification of these disabilities would occur, do not yet exist, and would take months, if not years, to be devised. And without certification, one receives no recognition of one’s disability by the state, and consequently, no form of benefit in the form reservations, etc. In the 1995 Act, merely five categories of disabilities took 6 years to have their respective evaluative protocols for certification; now we have an ordinance that promises to do the same for 14 other disabilities, and that too, overnight! This is a lie at the heart of the Ordinance, a lie that is deceiving all the supporters of the Ordinance, and it is a lie that needs to be exposed.

No matter what the Ordinance may claim or declare, without the formulation of rules and protocols for the production of disability certificates—rules and protocols that take years to be formulated—no new categories of disabilities would receive certification, and consequently, none will either receive recognition, or the seductive charms of things like reservations. For this recognition to be effectively carried out, and for provisions like reservation to be made available at all, we need a legislation that offers guarantee, stability, and rational actions. Ordinances, by virtue of their fixed lives, offer none of this, and in the context of the RPWD bill, where there is no further scope for parliament to convene, there is certainty that a vacuum would emerge after the ordinance lapses. Thus, no new categories would have received certification, and the benefits of recognition and reservations, for the Ordinance has no scope for devising medical protocols for the evaluation of these new categories of disabilities. And a step further, existing disabled persons, with recognized disabilities, would once again be at the mercy of bureaucrats who may choose to accept or reject their legitimate documents and certificates. They would, once again, be disenfranchised.

There are many monstrosities that the RPWD bill (version 2013-14) is haunted by. These pertain, variously, to the abortion of foetuses without the expecting-disabled woman’s consent; doubts about the extension of the Right to Education to children with ‘benchmark disabilities’, given anon obstante clause within the RPWD bill; the questionable provenance of full legal capacity for disabled individuals, along with doubts about plenary, as against limited, guardianship; the dangerous suggestion that parents or children may be separated from one another and families broken on the basis of disability; the dilution of full political participation; the ridiculous suggestion—in a time of increasing privatization of enterprises and services—that accessibility ought to be provided only by ‘establishments’ (read, government-run enterprises); the contravention of the Supreme Court’s judgment against the ongoing practice of ‘identification of posts’ for reservations, as against reservation regardless of the post; and the horrifying clause under section 3(3) of the RPWD draft that there shall be no discrimination against persons with disabilities solely on the basis of their disabilities, “unless it is shown that the impugned act or omission is a proportionate means of achieving a legitimate aim” (which basically invites the institutionalization of discrimination, by allowing persons and entities to get away with discriminating practices under one pretext or another, leaving the disabled individual to seek redressal, for every small act of another’s commissions and omissions, from the courts or the non-existent disability rights commission). These problems, in a word, are extensive. And they are catastrophic to substantive disability rights in the country. These have been discussed[11] in detail, elsewhere[12], and they point to the absolute disregard[13] for the United Nations Conventions on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNCRPD), 2008, the international treaty that India ratified, and that has mandated an overhaul of the 1995 Act in the first place. As NALSAR has declared, in its contrast of the RPWD draft with the consultative version of the draft formulated in 2011 by the Sudha Kaul Committee, “Overall, the trend is that all rights and entitlements have been reduced to mere declarations of ‘the appropriate government shall’, with very little detailing of what the appropriate government shall, in fact, do”[14].

The Ordinance Way: Problems, Perplexities, Solutions

Passing an ordinance in a scenario where the 15th Lok Sabha has no possibility of being convened, again, to transform that executive action into legislation has its own ethical dilemmas, its own issues of impropriety, which get exacerbated when one considers the fact that a bill is being passed as an ordinance while it resides with a standing committee of the house for much-needed consultation, and when there are no pressing urgencies that demand the promulgation of the bill as an ordinance. Passing the RPWD bill 2014 as an ordinance would not only recuperate the horrors of the draft bill, a bill that is now before a standing committee of parliament for the exorcism—through consultation—of those horrors. The bill, as Ordinance, would also endanger the legal status of existing and recognized persons with disabilities, because it does not specify what the fate of their disability certificates (procured under the aegis of the 1995 act and its 20-odd years worth of engendered rules and case-law[15]) will be. Consequently, they will be at the mercy of the wanton actions of bureaucrats, variously situated in numerous situations across the country. Avenues of employment and education for those disabled persons would be endangered simply because there is no clarity either on their existing legal status, or their future legal status, as disabled persons. Would they be given jobs or admissions on the basis of a law that is absent, and an Ordinance—functioning without the activating rules—that is limited by time to a mere six months? This ambiguity of present and future status, under the sign of the Ordinance, would preclude such persons from all of the avenues of reservations and other benefits—like loans—that the state has on offer, simply because the fate of the legislation and the ordinance itself is uncertain, and there are no rules or protocols to replace what the Ordinance will repeal in the 1995 Act.

The Ordinance repeals without replacing; it makes declarations but has no rules or medical protocols to enforce those declarations; it takes away everything from the penumbra of the 1995 Act, including case-law, progressive and hard-fought office-memoranda, and very crucially, the heretofore-unambiguous legal status of existing disability certificates that are not sought to be given express protection under the new legal dispensation; therein lies the cruel rub for millions of recognized disabled persons in this country, and this cruelty (of the non-recognition of their legitimate documents) is to be witnessed at the level of the petty-bureaucrat and the office: contexts in which the law, any law, is activated as practice. Finally, the ordinance would do nothing for the newly-included categories of disabilities because it does not have the time or the resources—given the looming elections—to specify what the medical protocols are, by use of which these new categories of disabilities, and persons occupying those categories, ought to be certified. Those rules and medical protocols, which would ensure recognition and the availability of resources by the state—can emerge only when they are nested in context of fixed, stable and non-arbitrary legislation—an act of parliament—and that will take time. The ordinance has no resources or time to devise these rules for enforcement of intent or the medical protocols for certification, simply because the life of the ordinance itself is limited. And as we know, in contemporary India, without certification, one’s disability has no scope of recognition by the state, and one has no hope of partaking of benefits such as reservations, a fact recently agreed to by the union government[16]. That recognition and these benefits, under the seductive (but ultimately illusory promises of the Ordinance) would remain just that—an illusion that is alsocruel.

Given the effective end of the 15th Lok Sabha—there are no more sessions—what needs to be donefirst is the work of elections. From there, the RPWD bill, currently before a Standing Committee, would emerge, and hopefully, with some of its damaging provisions suitably contained through consultations with all stakeholders. After a consultative passage of the RPWD bill—something that only the next Lok Sabha can do—we would have the evolution of the requisite rules for the activation of the new legislation. This will allow for adequate time, for the generation of medical protocols that would allow for the certification of all 19 categories of disabilities that the new law seeks to recognize, and for the protection of already certified disabilities. Only will those rules, those protocols, and their consequent use in certification, allow for substantive recognition and availability of resources to disabled persons in India. And it is hoped, sincerely, that this new certification-regime will already recognize the legal and legitimate status of existing disability certificate and their possessors. These are people and bureaucratic artefacts that are a legacy of the 1995 Act. Our legal and official status—as legitimate, document-bearing citizens of India who happen to be disabled—ought to be expressly safeguarded under an emergent, consultative law, not a capricious ordinance.

(With thanks to Amba Salelkar, for inputs)

Rijul Kochhar is a Junior Research Fellow in Sociology at the Delhi School of Economics. He has, recently, submitted an MPhil dissertation, titled “The Analytics of Disability: Bodies, Documents, and the Order of the State”. He also lives with a disability.



Enhanced by Zemanta

Related posts

Letter to President of India on Disabilities Bill 2014

English: Pranab Mukherjee, Indian politician, ...

English: Pranab Mukherjee, Indian politician, current Foreign Minister. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

February 27, 2014

Dear Rashtrapathiji,

The National Platform for the Rights of the Disabled (NPRD) is a cross disability organisation having membership based affiliates in various states of the country.


We are shocked and dismayed that the government is proposing to promulgate an ordinance on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. Such a move by a government which is on its way out, you will appreciate, is unconstitutional.


Sir, you will concur that passing such an important legislation touching the lives of a sizeable section of the population, without a proper debate in both houses of parliament and addressing various concerns would not have been correct.


We are of the opinion that as the Rights of Persons with Disabiilties Bill has been referred to the Standing Committee, it would be appropriate to wait for the recommendations of the Committee, before which all stakeholders should get an opportunity to place their concerns.


Even if the ordinance is promulgated, it would be farfetched to imagine that the delivery mechanisms and institutions promised in it would be constituted within the next few months.


We would therefore urge upon you not to sign such an ordinance that would legitimize a Bill that has not been scrutinized by parliament and gone through the democratic process.


In the interregnum the government can bring in an ordinance to bring under the purview of the 1995 Act, disabilities that are left out and are listed in the 2014 Bill sent to the Standing Committee.


Yours truly



Shri Pranab Mukherjee

President of India


Enhanced by Zemanta

Related posts

Will disability rights bill get passed by Parliament ?

Date:Feb 21, 2014

Activists divided over provisions of the bill

The ongoing session of the Parliament was the last hope for all those who have been demanding the enactment of the Rights of Persons with Disabilities Bill that seeks to broaden the definition of disability. This is the last Parliament session of the Congress-led UPA II government, with Friday as its last day, and the house has not been able to pass the bill.

When the bill was introduced in Rajya Sabha on February 7, one section of the civil society did not wish not to pass the bill while another wanted it to be made into a law at the earliest. The first group is not satisfied with the provisions of the bill; they term it ‘retrograde’ and want it withdrawn. The second section wanted the bill passed as it had taken many years to reach this stage.

Javed Abidi of Disabled Rights Group said, “We are trying hard to get the bill passed. We met UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi, vice-president of All India Congress Committee Rahul Gandhi, leader of opposition in Rajya Sabha and BJP leader Arun Jaitley”. He added, “They all were willing to pass the bill. Though there is a change in Arun Jaitley’s stance after opposition from one section of people which finds problem in the existing legislation.”

The activist also said that the bill was being opposed because of its flaws. But it is wrong to expect any law or bill to be perfect. Talking about positive aspects, he said that the bill has extended the list of diseases from seven to 19 and now includes cerebral palsy, chronic neurological conditions, mental illness, sickle cell disease, thalassemia and muscular dystrophy besides autism spectrum disorder and blindness.

The bill has also proposed reservation for disabled in public sector and higher education. Reservations in public sector will increase from the existing three per cent to five per cent.

However, those who are opposing the bill are not satisfied with the logic.  According to them, the bill should not be hurried as there is no need for an act which does not fulfill the needs of disabled persons.

On February 18, various organisations engaged in the promotion and protection of the rights of persons with disabilities, announced the formation of an All India Disability Alliance to ask for a better bill.

“We are criticising UPA government for its lack of seriousness towards millions of disabled across the country. We have reservation against the manner in which the government intends to pass the important legislation,” said Amba Salelkar from Inclusive Planet Centre for Disability Law and Policy, a non-profit working for India’s compliance with UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNCRPD).

She said that the bill, in its present form, “threatens the rights of persons with disabilities” and will undo the support given by Supreme Court. Last year, in October, the apex court had directed central and state government to provide at least three per cent reservation in government’s job for disabled persons. But, the judgement also offered leverage to the government for selecting job profiles especially suitable to the disabled. It means the discrimination will exist even after the bill turns into law. According to the alliance, Section 3 (3) of the bill says that the right against discrimination exists “unless it can be shown that the impugned act or omission is a proportionate means of achieving a legitimate aim”. The terms “proportionate means” and “legitimate aim” are highly subjective, which can further fuel discrimination.

Need a bill that overrides other discriminatory laws

The alliance pointed out that the bill fails to minimise or repeal the provisions of other existing laws which discriminate against persons with disabilities. All those laws contain applicability clause like a blind person can or cannot do certain jobs. The new bill allows for these legislation to prevail (as they do at present), including involuntary institutionalisation of persons with disabilities and denial of legal capacity to persons with disabilities.

The alliance also alleged that this is the ‘charity model’ of UPA government and is contrary to country’s obligations under UNCRPD.

It was lack of government’s commitment which resulted in tabling an older version of Rights of the Persons with Disabilities Bill, 2014, because the amendments approved by the Union Cabinet were not printed in time. Citing these facts, the alliance demanded that Parliament should refer the bill to an appropriate parliamentary committee and a discussion and consultation should take place.

P Muralidharan of National Platform for the Rights of the Disabled (NPRD), a collaboration of many NGOs fighting for rights of the disabled, said that the earlier version of the bill (2011-12) was better than the bill that has been tabled now. The activist also alleged that the government has not done anything. The first draft bill of rights for disabled was finalised in 2011. After some issues raised by civil society, the ministry released a draft bill in 2012. It was not as comprehensive as earlier one and it again was opposed by various stakeholders.

Following this, the new draft was circulated to various ministries and states. When it was brought before Parliament in this session, people found many undesired changes had been made.

The process of drafting the new law started over four years back in 2009 when a committee was set up by the Union Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment. A committee was then mandated to draft a bill for rights of the disabled.

“With election approaching, the government seems in hurry to pass all the bills. Though there is a slight possibility that the bill will get passed amid the chaos, but, if passed, it will not serve the purpose,” he added.

Abidi, however, did not agree, saying identification of jobs has been happening for years now. “I support their demands but it will take time as no miracle is going to happen. SC/STs have not been able to get reservation in private sector after years of demand, so how will the disabled get it. I am saying this is not the end of the road,” he said. Highlighting a positive aspect of the bill, he explained that after 1995, when the first Act on the subject materialised, it was the first phase of our fight, and now the campaign will enter its second phase.

All organizations fighting for jobs for disabled argue that India ratified the UN Convention on Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNCRPD) in 2007. With this, it was expected that all the four disability specific legislation—the Mental Health Act 1987, Rehabilitation Council of India Act 1992, Persons with Disability (Equal Opportunities, Protection of Rights and Full Participation) Act 1995 and the National Trust Act 1999 would be made into law by incorporating provisions of UNCRPD.

Though, the government tabled few bills like Mental Health Care Bill, this bill, which was supposed to replace the 1995 Disability Act, was delayed continuously for six years. Despite facing hurdles, the mental health care bill was finally sent to a parliamentary committee.


Read more here —


Enhanced by Zemanta

Related posts

Microsoft #Disability Scholarship

English: A collection of pictograms. Three of ...

English: A collection of pictograms. Three of them used by the United States National Park Service. A package containing those three and all NPS symbols is available at the Open Icon Library (Photo credit: Wikipedia)


The mission of DisAbility Scholarship at Microsoft is to empower and enable high schools students with disabilities to (a) go to college, (b) realize the impact technology has on the world, and (c) target a career in the technology industry. A primary goal of this scholarship is to increase the pool of persons living with a disability enrolling in higher education and, in long term, decrease the unemployment bias for this demographic.

This scholarship will identify promising high school seniors who have potential to enter and successfully complete a vocational or academic college program and have a financial need.  The amount of this non-renewable scholarship to be awarded is $5,000, which is paid through the Seattle Foundation on behalf of the disAbility Employee Resource Group (ERG) at Microsoft to the recipient’s school’s Financial Aid Office.

All candidates must be high school students living with a disability who plan to attend a 2 to 4 year University or College program, maintain a cumulative 3.0 CPA or equivalent and have declared a major from the approved list (see scholarship guidelines on application) .



To be considered for the Microsoft DisAbility Scholarship, you must:
To apply for the Microsoft DisAbility Scholarship, the student must meet the following guidelines:

  • Be a current high school senior with living with a disability (as defined by WHO), whether that be visual, hearing, mobility, cognitive or speech.
  • Plan to attend an undergraduate program in a 2 or 4-year University/College or Technical College in the fall of the academic year following high-school graduation.  Schools must be in the USA or have a USA-Affiliate for financial transactions (contact Seattle Foundation to verify non-USA school’s eligibility).
  • Declare a major in engineeringcomputer sciencecomputer information systemslegal or in businessthat are approved (ie. paralegal, pre-law, finance, business administration, or marketing).
  • Demonstrate a passion for technology.
  • Demonstrate leadership at school and/or in the community.
  • Have a high school cumulative GPA of 3.0 or higher.
  • Require financial assistance to attend college.
  • Enrollment status must be full-time or half time.



How to Apply

To apply for a Microsoft DisAbility Scholarship, print and fill out the application.  Enclose it in an envelope with the following items:

Résumé.Your résumé should include the following information:

  • Extracurricular activities (school and community related)
  • Honors and awards that you have received (if possible, include awards that are technology related)
  • Work experience

Picture of yourself. 

Transcript. Include an official “sealed” copy of your current academic transcript. (If selected, unofficial copies will not be accepted.)

Three essays. 

  • In no more than 500 words, describe how you plan to be engaged in the technology industry in your career.
  • In no more than 500 words, please share your vision of how Microsoft can innovate its future devices and services solutions to creatively & successfully support those living with disabilities in the workplace and in daily life to reach their potential.
  • In no more than 250 words, demonstrate your financial need for this scholarship.

Two letters of recommendationAt least one letter must be from a faculty or staff member at your school. Letters of recommendation should be original and should not be duplicates of college recommendation letters. (Letters must be on letterhead.)

Complete Application Form 
Fill out the entire Application Form at the end of this page. You can type the information or print clearly.  When you are done, print Sections I and II of the Application Form and make sure that you sign and date the verification on the 4th page.

Mail completed applications to the following address by March 15th. Selection will be complete, and those selected to receive the Microsoft DisAbility Scholarship will be notified by April 15th.

The Seattle Foundation
c/o Microsoft DisAbility Scholarship
1200 – 5th Avenue, Suite 1300
Seattle, WA 98101

Download the Microsoft DisAbility Scholarship application (Microsoft Word document, 144 KB)



How to donate to the Microsoft DisAbility Scholarship Fund

Thank you for supporting the Microsoft DisAbility Scholarships.
All donations are accepted at:
Microsoft employees may donate via //GIVE.

Read more here —


Enhanced by Zemanta

Related posts