Hon’ble Minister Dr. M. K. Sharma chaired the first meeting of the State Advisory Board on Disability

Gangtok, March 06: (IPR) Minister for Social Justice and Welfare Department Dr. M. K. Sharma chaired the first meeting of the State Advisory Board on Disability at Chintan Bhawan today.

During the meeting the HODs of the line departments, Medical Specialists, Doctors, senior officials deliberated on the major issues in the disability sector like Unique Disability ID Project and also issues relating to programmes and schemes of the state to take care of social security schemes and programmes for persons with disabilities. The meeting also had a discussion on the constitution of State Advisory Board on disability to exercise the powers conferred and to perform the functions assigned to it under the Rights of Persons with Disabilities Act.

Minister Dr. Sharma appreciated the sincere efforts made by the Department of Social Welfare for efficient and effective implementation of various provisions/sections of RPWD Act, 2016. However, he further directed all the members to work in tandem so as to ensure the effective implementation of the provisions of this Act in letter and spirit.

It was also mentioned that the board shall meet at least once every six months and shall observe such rules and procedures in regard to the transaction of business at its meetings as may be prescribed by the State Government. The board shall also be the state level consultative and advisory body on disability matters, and shall facilitate the continuous evolution of a comprehensive policy for the empowerment of persons with disabilities and the full enjoyment of rights.

The meeting also discussed the role and function of the State Advisory Board on disability, such as

1. to advice State Government on policies, programs, legislation and projects with respect to disability,

2. Review and coordinate the activities of all Developments of the State Government and other Governmental and non-Governmental Organizations in the State which are dealing with matters relating to persons with disabilities,

3. Take up the cause of persons with disabilities with the concerned authorities and the international organizations with a view to providing schemes and projects for the persons with disabilities in the State plans,

4. Recommend steps to ensure accessibilities, reasonable accommodation, and non- discrimination for persons with disabilities, services and the built environment and their participation in the social life on an equal basis with others

5. Monitor and evaluate the impact of laws, policies and programmes designed to achieve full participation of persons with disabilities, and

6. Such other functions as may be assigned from time to time by the State Government.

Further, it was apprised to the Board that the Social Justice and Welfare Department has been implementing a number of Schemes for Persons with Disabilities.

On the occasion, a powerpoint presentation on the status of implementation of various provisions of Rights of Persons with Disabilities Act, 2016 (section-wise) along with Sikkim Rights of Persons with Disabilities Rules, 2017 was made by Joint Secretary Social Welfare Division Smt. Rohini Pradhan.

Further, it was also desired by various members that there should be Free Travel concession in buses, 100% UDID implementation, holding of awareness camps, Websites accessibility and effective Redressal of problems faced by PwDs with multiple Disabilities.

The meeting concluded with a vote of thanks to the chair.

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