Delhi’s disabled community to hold candlelight vigil Friday


New Delhi : The disabled community here will hold a candlelight vigil outside social justice and empowerment minister Mukul Wasnik’s house to protest against the delay in drafting of a new disability law, even as the rest of the country welcomes the New Year with parties and get-togethers Friday.

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Javed Abidi of the Disabled Rights Group, who is organising the vigil said: “It took Mukul Wasnik as long as seven months, until April this year, to accede to the disability sector’s demand for a new and a comprehensive disability rights legislation to replace the Disability Act of 1995.”

A committee was formed and given four months until August this year to submit a draft of the law. However, the deadline was extended until October-end. It was yet again extended to the end of this month.

Abidi said: “The committee has still not been able to complete the task assigned to it eight months ago. Now, they are asking for one more extension, until March 31, 2011. The community demands that there should be no more extensions given and a new panel be formed by the ministry.”

“On Dec 27, I had written to the minister expressing our deep anguish at the turn of events, even as the rest of the country is soaked in the fervour of New Year celebrations, but got no response. Therefore, we have decided to hold a candlelight vigil in front of his house tomorrow (Friday) evening,” he added.