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World disability day 3 December 2023



Javed Ahmad Tak


Today is third day of December 2023 and throughout globe the day is celebrated as international day for persons with disabilities, so that they get equal opportunities their rights are safeguarded of rights and full participation in all areas. This year the theme under the UN resolution is “United in action to rescue and achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) for, with and by persons with disabilities”

The theme is big but disability sector lack basic facilities and officials are showing complete ignorance in the matters. When shall disability sector attain maximum independence is the million dollar question.that nobody answers. Annual commemoration of International Day of Persons with Disabilities was proclaimed in 1992, by the United Nations General Assembly under resolution 47/3. This day is aimed to promote the understanding of masses more about disability issues and mobilise support for the dignity, rights and well-being of disable fraternity. It also seeks to sensitise & awaken masses regarding the inclusion of persons with disabilities in each area of social, economic and political life. The government at Central level UT has been planning best to empower persons with Disabilities and ensure greater inclusion but attitudinal barriers, labelling biases segregate and exclude persons with Disabilities. The first initiative taken by our country after ratification of the United Nations convention of persons with Disabilities in 2007 was replacement of Indian disability Act 1995 to Rights of persons with Disabilities Act 2016. The new parameters were added into it so that persons with disabilities could enjoy all the rights and live independent life with utmost dignity. Reservation was increased from 3% to 4% but recruiting agencies have been completely sidelining the UNCRPD and Rights of persons with Disabilities Act 2016. Selection was done for Thousands of posts in J&K by services selection board and Jk Public Service commission, but persons with Disabilities are still approaching Courts, General Administration Department, Social Welfare Department and office of the Advocate General to seek justice. 8575 posts were advertised by JKSSB. Selection for all open merit and reserved category posts were declared. Every selected candidate joined and their probation tenures were completed, services were regularised but 6 posts of persons with visual disabilities who qualified test, document verification was done have been still suffering despite green signal from honourable advocate general, General Administration Department, law department and other corners. JK SSB chairperson members and officials show complete apathy towards persons with Disabilities. They cast doubts on abilities and capabilities of aspirants with disabilities, violate all laws and legislations but who cares or listens!

The same is case with JKPSC; Recently Commission notified selection lists of assistant professors in Higher Education department in sociology, history and political sciences but posts of persons with Disabilities were completely deleted, thus discriminating the Disability sector without any care or fear. The IAS officers who have served JK and central government for decades as members have not changed their narrow mindset for four decades of life; what can we expect from them in further course of their life. Moreover, they are firm believers of charity and zakat among the disabled persons on festivals and in their localities. The chairpersons from all religions and castes, Secretaries holding posts in JKPSC are no way in favour of the empowering disability sector but most of them have tried to empower their own kit’s and kins against disability quota.

The darkest period in social welfare department of J&K are last five years wherein persons with disabilities have suffered the most!
The department of social welfare is the nodal department for implementation of schemes for persons with Disabilities. The department has failed to implement the Rights of persons with Disabilities Act 2016. Neither the meetings of Advisory board happened not the technical committees were formulated. The DDRC scheme was introduced but only few districts started the District Disability rehabilitation services and most of the districts started initiatives but due to unknown reasons files are under feet of bureaucrats.

Then Divisional commissioner kashmir visited Anantnag on 3rd March 2023 and visited an institution for children with disabilities in Bijbehara and press release also came from the deputy commissioner office Anantnag. The Divcom announced 9 kanal state land for the sports activities of children with disabilities so that the children can build their capabilities in sports activities and take part in special Olympics Bharat, Paralympic and national level sports. On instructions of the Divicom onspot identification of land was done and revenue authorities at tehsil Bijbehara gave handover letter but after that revenue officials and sarpanch of the village along with block development office created hurdles to develop ground for the children with disabilities. Despite number of official communication from Divcom office and secretary revenue the revenue authorities in Anantnag district put the file under feet so that development of children with disabilities couldn't happen. It seems that departments are not ready to develop persons with disabilities but want to demorolaize and degrade the dignity of persons with disabilities

There are threats of corruption and giving the DDRCs to blue eyed persons. The National trust Act 1999 was enacted in JK on recommendation of Honourable Prime Minister but most of the districts failed to form the local level committees to create support system for persons facing mental or intellectual disabilities and multiple disabilities. The exploitation and property grabbing cases have been increased but local level committees are not formulated.

Social Welfare Department notified new guidelines for provision of social security under ISSS scheme. There are Lakhs of persons with Disabilities who were seeking social security pension through social welfare department were maintaining life by purchasing medicines, clothes, food and other requirements. But from last 13 months, social security pension was stopped and it was notified to submit online forms through common service centres and other allied service centres but only a handful of them have access to such facilities and few thousand cases have been restored who are taking benefits of integrated social security pension. A huge number of children with Disabilities, women with Disabilities, severe disabled, wheelchair users and other senior citizens with Disabilities have been suffering as most of them have got sanction letters but these helpless persons with Disabilities have not been getting the benefits of ISSS. The department of social welfare with huge human resource has failed to deliver the necessary services and support to Disability sector. Even chief secretary of jk was well aware about this matter and head of department gave written assurances that all persons with Disabilities will get ISSS restored upto 31 August but still no quick action was taken to create another deadline. Social welfare department has given up and sufferings of persons with Disabilities are still continuing. Kashmiri Pandit are the citizens of Jammu Kashmir but they are discarded for the pension benefits of Jammu and Kashmir isss, without any reason these people are stoped from isss pension
Or refused include in the isss pension category, this is serious issue for the person with disability. In comparison beneficiary who are undern in most of the states including Telangana, Goa, Delhi have been seeking social security amount of rupees 4000, 3500 or more than 2000. In our UT the social security amount is just 1000 rupees and miseries are very high in comparison to other states and union territories. The climatic conditions and lack of employment opportunities has downgraded lives of persons with Disabilities. On one side Government of India take huge steps to make lives better but on other hand some states and union territories fail to understand the issues of persons with disabilities and empower the underprivileged classes like persons with Disabilities to get skill education, seek employment and get work days to earn and shun dependence and live life with dignity.

Honourable Lieutenant governor of J&K has been listening to appeals and grievances of people of J&K through grievance cell. But so many insensitive officials then bang the people for approaching to lieutenant Governor. One of the worst case I saw is a widow with disability asked for coverage of her daughter under sponsorship scheme through mission vatsalya. A list was signed two years back in DCPU Anantnag. She wrote to DCPO, DC , Director mission vatsalya and after getting no response she appealed the LG office through grievance cell. She was summoned in police station and was forced to write apology letter in which name of a renowned social worker was written that he is misleading her to write the applications thus Right to information, right to public services guarantee act and many other such acts have been put ablaze by a clerk working for safeguarding child rights. The honourable lieutenant governor may please change the name of grievance cell and keep it appreciation cell for stake holders so that clerks and officials feel not grievance but appreciations have been sent to Honourable Lieutenant governor.

Honourable Supreme court of our country passed so many directions regarding the employment, promotion and implementation of various rules for persons with Disabilities; the Department of personnel and Training issued many circulars and directed the states and union territories to provide relief to persons with Disabilities. One of the circular was regarding the posting of family members involved in care taking of persons with disabilities at the nearest place of residence or rehabilitation centre or hospital where from person with Disability is seeking rehabilitation services or treatment but there are scores of cases in High Court of J&K and ladakh & Central Administrative Tribunal where the caretakers of persons with Disabilities ask for the implementation of such orders from Honourable supreme court. The Department of Personnel and Training which is backbone of Indian Administration ends up in posting cases of persons with disabilities at far off stations and forcing additional duties like elections, census, mid-day meals, charges of different procurements is now a routine for employees with Disabilities. There are orders circulars and other notifications in place but Administration is not sensitive enough to understand why such orders and circulars have been passed and disseminated. There are nodal officers in all departments which have been recently appointed to redress the grievances of persons with Disabilities but most of them do not know what to do? Honourable Chief secretary or Commissioner secretary GAD should have taken a meeting and communicated to the officials how to resolve the issues of persons with Disabilities. When direct communications in these matters are made with central government they reply with utter surprise is “what is J&K Civil secretariat doing there”?

Honourable Supreme court has directed that reservation in promotion for the employees with disabilities should be implemented but Jammu and Kashmir UT administration is not satisfied with honourable Supreme court orders. Social welfare department is not genuinely working but trampling the rights of persons with Disabilities under their feet. The department has been receiving hundreds of representations in regard to safeguarding the Rights of persons with Disabilities but all are ignored. Various departments especially education and higher education departments have notified thousands of promotion lists giving reservation in promotion to all the reserved categories except Disability category. Thus employees with Disabilities face stagnation due to official apathy of J&K GAD and social welfare departments as well as recruiting agencies.

Honourable Lieutenant governor of J&K has been listening to appeals and grievances of people of J&K through grievance cell. But so many insensitive officials then bang the people for approaching to lieutenant Governor. One of the worst case I saw is a widow with disability asked for coverage of her daughter under sponsorship scheme through mission vatsalya. A list was signed two years back in DCPU Anantnag. She wrote to DCPO, DC , Director mission vatsalya and after getting no response she appealed the LG office through grievance cell. She was summoned in police station and was forced to write apology letter in which name of a renowned social worker was written that he is misleading her to write the applications thus Right to information, right to public services guarantee act and many other such acts have been put ablaze by a clerk working for safeguarding child rights. The honourable lieutenant governor may please change the name of grievance cell and keep it appreciation cell for stake holders so that clerks and officials feel not grievance but appreciations have been sent to Honourable Lieutenant governor.

Prime minister of India Introduced Accessible India Campaign to make public places disable friendly but the access audit report and budget became football for public works department and planning section of social welfare department. Thus crores of funds from Department of empowerment of persons with Disabilities government of India seems lapsed or in dust bins. The social welfare department more or less wants the disability sector to become beggars and not the contributors. Otherwise funds coming for the upgradation and empowerment must not have lapsed and the circulars from DOPT and orders for Honourable supreme court must have been implemented.

In Jammu and Kashmir only 80 special educators known with different designations under erstwhile SSA & RMSA schemes have been working for the education of children with Disabilities. The number was big but many such educators left the service because they found it insecure to work under inclusive education on meagre resources. Honourable supreme court of our country has ordered for regularisation of services of special Educator and creating more vacancies for such educators but government of Jammu and Kashmir failed to deliver for the education of children with Disabilities.

Many schools and rehabilitation centres have been established by the parents of children with Disabilities and hundreds of children facing different Disabilities have been seeking benefits but when it comes the matter of registration with school education department there are hundreds of hurdles for such institutions but the situation should have been opposite there should have been priority for the registration and renewal of registration for education and rehabilitation institutions run for children with Disabilities, with certain relaxation in documents, so that that these children don't suffer the issues in certification etc. Despite assurances from the administrative department of the school education department the matter is pending.


The Department of health is supposed to generate our UDID cards and disability certificates. But real and deserving persons with Disabilities don't get the Disability certificates and some doctors clerical staff in many districts have been immediately helping physically fit persons to seek the Disability certificates by hook or crook thus mar the rights of aspirants with Disabilities who face humiliation while being carried in Laps and backs by family and relatives. The department of Health was pursued to ensure 100% certification of real and deserving Persons with Disabilities but fir health department disability sector is non priority permanent I'll people having no treatment and intervention available. There are so many proposals lying with government department that educational institutions for children with Disabilities will be established at divisional level Jammu and srinagar where every facily including rehabilitation, sports, recreation and hostel facilities will be available but for last one decade every political part in government and opposition including LG administration failed to deliver. Thus most of the students with Disabilities get dropped out from schools.

The e-governance system has been created by the departments but in online forms every reserved category is mentioned like are you SC ST OBC RBA but no information is taken from persons with Disabilities. Thus in maximum cases the persons with Disabilities are not considered for any benefit and not given any relaxations. All departments should write a column of information about persons with Disabilities so that appropriate data about beneficiaries with Disabilities and as per norms whatever relaxations in criteria or benefits are available these should be served.

What can we celebrate and what are we celebrating is not known to disability sector. Where ever programmes of World Disability day 2923 in UT of J&K is being celebrated with high resolution cameras and videography and media coverages are inaccessible and nondisable friendly environment. Persons with Disabilities will be carried as luggage to reach venues and stages. Guests will enjoy sofa high cost furniture and heating tools. Awareness will be made for persons with Disabilities how to get ISSS, aids appliances but the officials will not be senditized how to redress the issues in persons with Disabilities. Across globe succes stories are shared and the goals achieved for overall development of persons with Disabilities and list of pending issues will be created and pledges will be taken to complete the pending agendas. Thus Disability sector in jk has been less advantages and unhappy creators. Still I am optamastic that some one will take cognizance of issues faced by the Disability sector and hearing will happen soon. Hope our disability sector too will reach the point where we can think of Sustainable development goals and achieve these goals with maximum participation of persons with Disabilities irrespective of caste creed gender colour and gender



(Javed Ahmad Tak is a Disability Rights Activist and
Padma Shri Awardee.He can be reached at [email protected])




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