Disabled support AAP for fielding one of their own

Disabled support AAP for fielding one of their own

AAP’s initiative to field a visually impaired candidate in the Lok Sabha polls has instilled hope among the disabled community across the national capital which feels the party will push for the Disability Rights Bill if it comes to power.

Several groups working for the disabled, which have been battling for the legislation to be passed in the Parliament, believe that AAP will be able to address their issue.

“I want AAP to come to power because it is new in the game and will definitely address the problems of the disabled. Congress let us down as it failed to pass the Bill in the last Parliament session,” said Sumit from UDAAN, a foundation for the differently abled.

Members of such groups fear the fate of the Bill may end up like that of the Jan Lokpal Bill, which is yet to see the light of the day. “The community feels that Kejriwal may do something as he has been constantly focusing on common man’s issues,” Sumit said.

Some feel that the AAP which has assured better amenities for the disabled and work for the passage of the Bill can deliver on their promises only if it forms government with an absolute majority. “Aam Aadmi Party has the potential to bring about a change in the community by passing the Bill, but it can only do so if it comes to power with full majority. If again it forms government in coalition, the fate of the Bill is likely to hang in balance,” said Bansal Lal from All India Federation of the Deaf.

Congress still remains a choice for some groups working for the differently abled as they feel the party initiated efforts to pass the Bill. “Congress wanted the Bill to be passed in Rajya Sabha but somehow it couldn’t. There were some shortcomings in the Bill and we wanted some amendments before it is passed,” said J L Kaul, the General Secretary of All India Confederation of the Blind. “Our fight for the passage of the Bill will continue whoever forms the government.”

The AAP has fielded Shivakumar N Tontapura, a visually impaired candidate in the  polls from Koppal constituency in Karnataka. “We have raised voice for the differently abled community and will continue to do so in our manifesto. We are committed to the cause and not concerned about the votebank politics,” said AAP National Spokesperson Deepak Vajpayee.

After the Bill was not passed in the last winter session of Parliament, many disabled persons with their families staged protests to tell the leaders that the lives of 70 million disabled citizens of the nation depend on their political will to pass this Bill.
The Bill, if passed, will lead to reservations for the disabled from the current seven types to 19.

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