General Election of India 2019 are about to begin. Major political parties have made a number of promises for the welfare of persons with disabilities. It is important for disabled persons to study the relevant portions of party manifestos before they decide to vote for a particular political party. To make it easier for you, here are the portions of the Congress, BJP and CPM manifestos pertaining to their plans for persons with disabilities.
Congress Manifesto 2019 for Persons with Disabilities
The Indian National Congress has assured the following eight point agenda if they get elected to the power.
- Articles 15 and 16 of the Constitution will be amended to prohibit discrimination on the ground of ‘disability’ or ‘impairment.’
- All public services and public spaces, government offices and private premises will be made inclusive and accessible to persons with disabilities.
- We will set up an information portal to enable easy access to information on all 21 disabilities included in the Right of Persons with Disabilities Act, 2016 and to create awareness on the rights of persons with disabilities.
- Congress promises to direct all Ministries and Departments to cause a quick review of their policy statements and programmes in order to ensure that they acknowledge, protect and promote the rights of persons with disabilities.
- We will propose an Amendment to the Constitution to recognise the Braille script and Sign Language as languages.
- We will establish a National Centre of Research and Excellence for Special Education to ensure that quality education is imparted to children with special needs and children with disabilities.
- Congress promises to commission an annual social audit of policies and programmes for persons with disabilities.
- All assistive and adaptive aids, appliances and devices will be zero-rated under the GST 2.0 regime.
Source: Congress Manifesto 2019
BJP Manifesto 2019 for Persons with Disabilities
The ruling Bhartiya Janta Party is promising the following for the disabled persons.
- To Take forward the gains achieved under Sugamya Bharat, we will put in place a system of continuous accessibility audits and ratings for cities, public infrastructure including airports, railway stations and public transport systems, to ensure that they are fully accessible with collaboration with industry and civil society organizations.
- We will prioritize divyang beneficiaries under Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana and mandate accessibility benchmarks to be met in Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana.
- Anganwadi and pre-school system will be strengthened to ensure that cases of disabilities are detected at an early stage.
- We will offer higher interest rates on fixed deposits by divyangs.
Source: BJP Manifesto 2019
CPI (M) Manifesto 2019 for Persons with Disabilities
The Communist Part of India (Marxist) promises the following
- Implementation of the provisions of the Rights of Persons with Disabilities Act and the Mental Health Care Act supported by adequate budgetary allocations.
- Harmonising all laws in the country in tune with the United Nations Convention on Rights of Persons with Disabilities.
- Reviewing and amending the National Disability Policy.
- Simplifying the process of certification. Speeding up the issuing of UDID.
- Clearing backlog in vacancies in all government departments in a time bound manner. Creation of newer employment avenues taking the capabilities of disabled persons into account.
- Making all buildings, public places, all modes of transport, information and other avenues fully accessible and barrier free for people with disabilities; provision of sign language interpreters; making TV and other broadcast media accessible for the deaf/hard of hearing and the visually impaired.
- Ensuring Dignified Life for persons with disabilities. Zero tolerance for abuse of disability/disabled persons.
- Enhancing the pension to at least Rs. 6,000/- and link it up with the price index. Provision of caregiver allowance.
- Free provision of aids and appliances. Zero GST with input tax credit on aids, appliances and vehicles used by disabled persons.
- Making education at all levels inclusive. Make school infrastructure and curriculum inclusive. Making Health facilities accessible and free for persons with disabilities.
- Extending the assistance under the MPLADS fund to all assistive devices and facilities for the disabled.
- Proper enumeration of all persons with disabilities as listed in the schedule of the Rights of Persons with Disabilities Act, 2016.
- Households with PwDs should have first claim on all land distribution programmes of government surplus land as well as ceiling surplus land.
Source: CPI (M) Manifesto 2019
Other major political parties have either not released their manifestos or they have not mentioned anything significant about persons with disabilities. However, if we come across more information we will add to this article.