‘Serious breach of trust in sports in disability rights bill’

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Kolkata, April 4 (IANS) Citing “serious breach of trust”, an NGO that works on Paralympics issues, has said the draft rules of the Rights of Persons With Disabilities Act fail to mention regulations relating to sports activities and expressed apprehension that para-sports will continue to remain neglected.

“There is a serious breach of trust with respect to the Rights of Persons With Disabilities (RPWD) Act, 2016, Draft Rules considering sports an an element of the bill. It was very welcoming to see the inclusion of sports in the RPWD Act,” the Civilian Welfare Foundation said in a statement.

But the organisation pointed out that while going through the Draft RPWD rules it failed to see any mention of rules and regulations relating to sports activities.

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“It was quite disheartening that even after progressive inclusion of sports in Education (Chapter III), Social Security, Health, Rehabilitation & Recreation (Chapter V) and in Duties and responsibilities of appropriate governments, HRD (Chapter VII), there is hardly any directive which would ensure the proper implementation of the Act with respect to sporting activities,” the statement said.

It pointed out that there is no mention in the draft rules how it would be ensured that there is no discrimination in sports and other recreational activities in schools.

“There is no mention of the rules to ensure participation of the persons with disabilities in sporting activities. There is no mention how private and government-affiliated sports bodies (like Paralympic Committee of India, Paralympic state committees, individual para-sport federations registered under Societies act) will be made to follow the Act,” it asked.

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“What are the regulations for the proposed appropriate measures to ensure access, inclusion & participation of person with disabilities in sporting activities.”

The organisation also raised questions about the directives for an inclusive training programme for sports and other adventure activities.

“What are the directives… we do not know. We do not know if mention of sports is purposely left out from the Draft Rules. Our experience tells us this particular sector had been neglected for very long and immediately need intervention from government.

“If RPWD Rules also exclude provisions for sports, we are afraid para-sports will remain neglected. Finally we would also like to add that we support the proposed changes by National Platform for the Rights of the Disabled (NPRD) which includes inclusion of ‘private enterprises’ in the draft rules and would like to demand for a more consultative approach in framing the draft rules,” the organisation said.

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