Dimapur, June 21: Representatives of People with Disabilities in Nagaland met Chief Minister Neiphiu Rio on June 20 and discussed important disability issues in the State, particularly implementation of the Rights of Persons with Disabilities Act 2016 (RPWD Act 2016).
The RPWD Act 2016 came into force on April 19, 2017, and all States and Union Territories, including Nagaland, were required to notify the State Rules and start implementation within six months of the Disability Act becoming law. The Supreme Court has also, on April 25 last year, asked all the States and Union Territories to take immediate steps to comply with the requirements of the Disability Act and file compliance reports. It further directed that special courts be set up in each district to conduct trial of offences committed against them within three months.
According to disability rights activist, Diethono Nakhro despite these as well as the strong urgings of the disability community, Nagaland is yet to make any concrete move towards implementation of the Disability Act even with the passage of more than a year.
The disability community also reminded the Government that despite the old Disability Act 1995 being in existence for more than 20 years, not even a single law contained in it was ever properly implemented in the State by successive governments. Numerous directives were also issued by the Supreme Court from time to time, but none have been complied with either.
People with Disabilities in Nagaland have thus remained ignored and marginalized with their rights violated by the State Government and society at large, she said and stressed that this failure cannot and must not be repeated with the RPWD Act 2016.
As committed by the NDPP as well as the BJP in their election manifestos, People living with Disabilities urged the Chief Minister and his Government to notify the State Disability Rules and start implementation of the RPWD Act without delay.
The Chief Minister expressed full support and assured that action will be taken.
(Page News Service)