Awareness and sensitization programme on Rights of Persons with Disabilities (RPwD) Act 2016, held at Kohima

(Diethono Nakro, State Commissioner for Persons with Disabilities gave an overview of the RPwD Act 2016)

Kohima, October 18 (NE): An awareness and sensitization programme on Rights of Persons with Disabilities (RPwD) Act 2016 for State Government Officials was held on 18th October 2019 at canteen hall Nagaland PWD Office Building, Kohima. The programme was organised by the Mission Mode Team, Accessible India Campaign (AIC) in collaboration with the Office of the State Commissioner for Persons with Disabilities.

K. Libanthung Lotha, Secretary to the Government of Nagaland & Team Leader, Mission Mode Team (AIC) gave a brief introduction about the sensitization and awareness campaign wherein he mentioned that the awareness programme on the RPwD Act 2016 was the first of its kind in the State with Kohima being the second district after Dimapur where the awareness programme is being held. He also highlighted the aims and objectives of the Awareness Campaign as well as the purpose of the Mission Mode Team which is to monitor and supervise the implementation of the RPwD Act 2016.

Resource Person, Diethono Nakro, State Commissioner for Persons with Disabilities gave an overview of the RPwD Act 2016 and the status of its implementation in the State and how it can successfully implemented in the State. She emphasised on the sorry state of affairs in Nagaland when it comes to dealing with the subject of Persons with Disabilities (PwDs) as a whole be it in making offices and public buildings easily accessible to Pwds or making various special facilities to facilitate the equal development and creating avenues for PwDs to strive for a normal life. She lamented on the fact that Nagaland is the only State in the entire country that does not have single proper disability rehabilitation facility or resource centre. She further discussed in detail the various issues and hurdles faced PWDs in the state and what measures should be undertaken to improve the general plight of the PWDs in the State. “Most people with disabilities in our State simply exist – they do not have a life and therefore it is our duty to ensure that steps are taken in order to improve their lives” she said.

K. Ela , Director Prodigal’s Home Dimapur also spoke at the programme highlighting the Disability Scenario in Nagaland including the various challenges faced by the PWDs and the opportunities available to them. She narrated personal experiences and real life stories to paint a sad story on the plight of the PWDs in the State and their day to day life struggles. She ended her presentation on a positive though saying that the society is slowly changing and becoming more accommodating for PWDs and shared the success stories of a few of the PWDs who have greatly benefitted from the various development programmes and have achieved great heights professionally as well as in their personal lives.

Apila Sangtam Advocate, Guwahati High Court Kohima Bench also represented the legal fraternity and shed light on the court directives of the RPwD Act 2016 and the legal implications of non compliance with the act. Gregory Thejawelie ,NCS Deputy Commissioner Kohima chaired the Programme.

The Rights of Persons with Disabilities Act (RPwD) was passed by both houses of parliament on 16th of December 2016 and became operational on 19th April 2017 replacing the existing Persons with Disabilities Act 1995. The 2016 Act was passed to fulfil India’s obligation to the United Nations Convention on Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNCRPD) which India ratified in 2007. There are 21 specified disabilities under the RPwD Act 2016. The RPwd Act 2016 states that it is the responsibility of the Government to ensure that Persons with Disabilities enjoy the “RIGHT TO EQUALITY, LIFE WITH DIGNITY AND RESPECT FOR HIS OR HER OWN INTEGRITY EQUALLY WITH OTHERS”.

(News Source: DIPR)