Gujarat Govt: 5% Reservation To Differently Abled In Divyang Policy
To bring economic parity to people with disabilities in the State, the Gujarat government has included 5 percent reservation in poverty alleviation and development schemes in its new Divyang policy. Another unique facet of the Divyang policy is the proposed scheme on ‘Independent Community Living for Persons with Disabilities’ which will encourage Divyangs to live with their families instead of specialised institutions.
Gujarat is likely to become the first State to bring a Divyang policy for the differently abled, 18 months after the passage of the Rights of Persons with Disabilities Bill 2016.
The policy proposes benefits like increased reservation in higher education and government jobs. The government is expected to earmark 5% of funds and give reservation in three categories: allotment of agricultural land and housing in all relevant schemes, in all poverty alleviation and developmental schemes and in allotment of land on a concessional rate.
The land will be used to promote housing, shelter, setting up of occupation, business, enterprise, recreation and production centres.
Reservation will be given on priority to women with benchmark disabilities. The government will also earmark 5% of total allocation under initiatives for persons with benchmark disabilities through departments of education, health & family welfare, rural development, panchayati raj, tribal development, urban development, social justice & empowerment.
Independent Community Living’ The Department of Social Defence will allocate 25% of its budget for the proposed ‘Independent Community Living for Persons with Disabilities’ scheme. This has been designed to allow Divyangs to live with their families in a normal environment rather than in institutions of mental health, NGOs or institutions providing special care.
Founder and executive secretary of Blind People’s Association who is part of the working group, said three departments namely education, social justice, labour and employment departments have already issued relevant notifications to integrate the Divyang policy into their working. We have clubbed five Acts namely the RTE Act, National Trust Act- 1999, Rehabilitation Council of India Act- 92 & 2000, Employment Act of Gujarat and several policies into this policy.
Principal secretary of Social Justice & Empowerment department said the policy closely mirrors the Disabilities Bill 2016. Other benefits in the policy include ramps in public buildings (government and private) to ensure accessibility, 4% reservation in government jobs and 5% reservation in higher education and compulsory 5% allocation in various developmental schemes.
An assessment board to certify persons with High Support Needs who are persons who have more than 40% disability through the state legal department is also proposed.
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