<b>XIII LOK SABHA DEBATES, <i> Session II (Winter Session) </i> </b>
XIII LOK SABHA DEBATES, Session II (Winter Session) Friday, December 3, 1999/Agrahayana 12, 1921 (Saka )

Title: Need to look into the pathetic conditions of disabled and passing of the National Disabled Trust Bill.

MR. SPEAKER: Now, the House will take up the `Zero Hour'.

Shri Madhav Rao Scindia.

SHRI T.T.V. DHINAKARAN (PERIYAKULAM): Sir, I have given a notice ... (Interruptions)

MR. SPEAKER: Yes, I will come to you.

... (Interruptions)

MR. SPEAKER: Hon. Members, today is the World Disabled Day. So I am calling the name of Shri Jaipal Reddy first.

SHRI S. JAIPAL REDDY (MIRYALGUDA): Mr. Speaker, Sir, thank you. I wish to draw the attention of all sections of the House to an extremely non-partisan issue.

1218 hours

(Mr. Deputy-Speaker in the Chair)

We seem to forget that today, the 3rd December, is observed as the World Disabled Day. I may, by way of clarification, state that in all my legislative career for over three decades I have only spoken for the socially handicapped, namely, the Scheduled Castes, the Scheduled Tribes, the OBCs and women.

I believe, there is an imperative need to focus our attention on the physically handicapped also because they mostly belong to these socially handicapped sections. Our immunization programme and all other programmes pass these sections by. There is a need to appreciate the magnitude of the problem. There are sixty million disabled people in our country.

They constitute six per cent of our population. The disabled people in our country, perhaps, constitute 50 per cent of the disabled in the world. Way back in 1977 we adopted a legislation under which three per cent should be reserved in Government services for the disabled. This particular legislation has been more honoured in breach than in observance. In reality less than one per cent of people have been employed and that reservation in that legislation was confined only to C and D categories. In 1995 we passed another legislation, the Disability Act, which has been put in cold storage virtually.

Sir, our performance in the private corporate sector is even more dismal. In Germany, in the corporate sector, six per cent of jobs are reserved for the handicapped. There is a reservation provision for the handicapped in such countries as USA and Japan. In our own corporate sector, only 0.4 per cent have been accommodated. Sir, this is a House which comprises people elected directly by the people. Most of us come from rural areas. When we visit rural areas, we see thousands of physically handicapped people come up to us to make many representations. I am sure that the heart of every Member bleeds for the pathetic condition of these people.

What is more important is, that we have been mute spectators to this pathetic spectacle. We have been helpless about the apathy shown by the Government, the private sector and the society to the condition of these people. Even in China, I discover that 17 per cent of the employable among the physically handicapped, who have been provided employment. Therefore, there is a need for all of us to focus our attention on this problem. I know that the Government is contemplating a National Disabled Trust Bill. I urge the House to get that Bill passed in the House in this Session itself. I am not setting much store by that because we as a nation have always been good at mouthing pious platitudes: we are not good at implementing them. I hope, that this Trust will not be another exercise in tokenism. Be that as it may, we should pass the Bill with due urgency. I want the Government and all sides of the House to display necessary political will in this regard because the problem has now become a silent but stupendous national tragedy.

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SHRI BASU DEB ACHARIA (BANKURA): I associate with Shri S. Jaipal Reddy that the Government should bring forward the National Disabled Trust Bill. I urge upon the Government to bring the proposed legislation within a short time.

... (Interruptions)

MR. DEPUTY-SPEAKER: Shri Basu Deb Acharia, you have already associated with him. This is not the way to behave. I will not allow you. Now I have given the floor to Shri Madhavrao Scindia.

... (Interruptions)