The Rights of Persons with Disabilities Act, 2016 (RPWD Act) aims to empower and include persons with disabilities in society. The Act addresses several aspects:
- Equality and Non-discrimination: The Act ensures that persons with disabilities enjoy equal rights and opportunities, promoting a barrier-free environment.
- Inclusive Education: The Act mandates free education for children with disabilities aged 6-18 years and emphasizes inclusive education in government-funded institutions.
- Employment: The Act provides a 3% reservation in government jobs and educational institutions for persons with disabilities.
- Accessibility: The Act stresses the importance of accessibility in public buildings and transportation, promoting the Accessible India Campaign.
- Legal Capacity: The Act ensures that persons with disabilities have equal legal capacity in all aspects of life.
However, challenges remain in the effective implementation of the Act. Persons with disabilities in India still face discrimination, lack of access to education, healthcare, and employment opportunities. Moreover, accessibility remains a significant issue, with inadequate infrastructure and an inclusive-thinking mindset.
Therefore, despite the provisions of the RPWD Act, there is still a long way to go in ensuring the full empowerment and inclusion of persons with disabilities in Indian society.