Thursday, December 4, 2014

16 Famous Indians With Disabilities Who Inspire Us Everyday

These Indians with disabilities prove that it is just a state of mind. 

Learn about 16 amazing people who have not let their disability hold them back them in any way. From performing in international arenas to bagging gold medals in sports events, there is nothing these champions cannot do! They have made us so proud.

"Disability is a state of mind"

See the full report by Shreya Pareek on the website of 'The Better India: Positive news, Happy stories, Unsung heroes.'

International Day of Persons with Disabilities (#IDPD)
International Day of Persons with Disabilities (#IDPD)

On Int'l Day of Ppl with Disabilities (#IDPD), TOI covers my plea to include disability education into medical curriculum.

As per WRD, people with disabilities are TWICE as likely to find health care provider skills and equipment inadequate to meet their needs; THREE times as likely to be denied care; and FOUR times as likely to be treated badly by health care providers. 

The new introduction by the UN of the ICF (International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health) and the legal obligation as we have ratified the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities [UN CRPD 2006, Article 25 (d)] provides an impetus to re-ground disability medical education on the social model rather medical model. It has been shown that introduction of short disability courses appears to change medical students association of depersonalized or negative words with disability.

Office of Chief Commissioner for Disabilities has already instructed MCI that “doctors not trained on rehabilitation should restrict their treatment of children with disabilities to their medical illness/disease or else action be initiated against such practices under relevant section of MCI.

Competencies and guidelines to assist Indian doctors in caring for patients with disabilities have yet to be established, thus making educational goals unclear. This becomes of utmost importance as the ‘Rights of Persons with Disabilities Bill’ includes 19 disabilities. The new curriculum therefore should involve people with disabilities and educational strategies must use standardized patients with disabilities rather than non-disabled feigning disability. A number of medical schools abroad have acknowledged the expertise that people with disabilities can bring to medical education by including them as teachers.

Regulation 1.9 of Indian Medical Council (Professional Conduct, Etiquette and Ethics), Regulations, 2002 states that , “The physician shall observe the laws of the country and observe the provisions of the State Acts like Mental Health Act, 1987; PwD Act 1995. 

Read the full TOI report here.

Crippled system can't absorb special people (TOI on IDPD)

International Day of Persons with Disabilities (#IDPD)

NEW DELHI: As India marks International Day of Persons with Disabilities, disabled continue to be discriminated against—at schools, jobs and public spaces like markets, airports and transport.

Read the full story on the Times of India web page here.

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Success! No routine transfer to Govt employee having children with autism

Department of Personnel & Training (DoPT) issued a circular 'Posting of Government employees who have differently abled dependents-reg' vide O.M No.42011/3/2014-Estt.(Res) dated 6th June 2014.

The Government order stated that a government servant, who is also a caregiver of disabled child, should be exempted from the routine exercise of the transfer.

Upbringing and rehabilitation of a child with disability requires financial support and “making the government employee choose voluntary retirement on the pretext of routine transfer or rotation transfer would have an adverse impact on the rehabilitation process of the disabled child”, the order had said. However, the order had left out developmental disabilities like autism.

Coordinator, Enabling Unit of UCMS & GTB Hospital wrote to Dr Jitendra Singh, MoS (PP), Department of Personnel and Training, Ministry of Personnel, Public Grievances and Pensions to include developmental disabilities on 16th June in the following mail:

From: Satendra Singh <>
Date: Mon, Jun 16, 2014 at 3:06 PM
Subject: Request to include left out disabilities in DOPT circular on transfer policy

Dear Dr Singh,

Ref: No.42011/3/2014-Estt.(Res.) dated 6th June 2014 on the subject: Posting of Government employees who have differently abled dependents — reg

​First of all accept my heartiest congratulations on the DOPT circular on transfer policy as quoted above. It was much needed for parents having a disabled ward. However, the circular doesn't take into consideration parents of the people with autism and developmental disabilities.​ Moreover, all 19 disabilities included in Rights of the Persons with Disabilities Bill should be included.

I request your office to kindly include necessary changes so that these excluded section is included too. Hoping for a quick action from your side.

with regards

Dr Satendra Singh
Coordinator, Enabling Unit (persons with disabilities)
UCMS & GTB Hospital Delhi

He also complained on their public grievances portal bearing the reference number ​DOPAT/E/2014/01622.

The media reported that government had received representations in this regard. It was argued that an employee raises a kind of support system over a period of time in the locality where he or she resides to help rehabilitate their disabled child.

Minister of State for Personnel Jitendra Singh on Monday took the decision to include autism in a list with the Department of Disability, after the Department of Personnel and Training (DoPT) examined the scope of bringing the developmental disorder under the definition of disabled.

“Considering the fact that a child with autism spectrum disorder requires constant support of a caregiver and it would be imperative for government employees with such children to take of their child on a continuous basis, it has been decided to include ‘autism’ in the term ‘disabled’ in the office memorandum,” read the DoPT order 'Posting of Government employees who have differently abled dependents-reg' vide O.M No.42011/3/2014-Estt.(Res) dated 17/11/2014.

Its a success to all the caregivers posted in central government. Both the orders can be found here:

Circular portal of M/o Personnel, PG and Pensions

Amended circular is reproduced below:

Government of India
Ministry of Personnel, Public Grievances and Pensions
Department of Personnel & Training
North Block, New Delhi
Dated the 17th November. 2014
Office Memorandum
Sub: Posting of Government employees who have differently abled dependents – reg.
The undersigned is directed to refer to this Department’s OM of even number dated 06.06.2014 (copy enclosed) exempting a Government employee, who is also a care giver of disabled child, from the routine exercise of transfer/rotational transfer subject to the administrative constraints. The word ‘disabled’ includes (i) blindness or low vision (ii) hearing impairment (iii) locomotor disability or Cerebral Palsy (iv) leprosy cured (v) mental retardation (vi) mental illness and (vii) multiple disabilities.
2. The matter regarding the scope of ‘disabled’ has been examined in consultation with the Department of Disability Affairs. Considering the fact that the autism spectrum disorder child requires constant caregiver support and it would be imperative for the Government employees to take care of their autism spectrum disorder child on continuous basis, it has been decided to include ‘Autism’ in the term ‘disabled’, as defined in Para 3 of the above-mentioned O.M. dated 06.06.2014.
3. This issues with the approval of the MoS (PP).
4. All the Ministries/Departments, etc. are requested to bring these instructions to the notice of all concerned under their control.
(G. Srinivasan)
Deputy Secretary to the Govt. of India

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Why are we celebrating World Polio Day on the wrong date?

The hindu
29 October 2014
new delhi

“Why do we continue to observe World Polio Day on the wrong date?” This simple question led Indian disability rights activist and polio survivor Dr. Satendra Singh to initiate a long struggle to set the date right.

“The United Nation’s website and Centre for Disease Control and Prevention’s website both tags that World Polio Day is observed globally on October 24 commemorating the birth of Dr. Jonas Salk, who was the leader of the team that invented a vaccine against polio,’’ explained Dr. Singh, who is an Assistant Professor of Physiology at University College of Medical Sciences and works at GTB Hospital, Delhi.

“The controversy is that the U.S. virologist was born on October 28, 1914, and not on October 24 as claimed by Rotary and others. We wonder why this erroneous belief has perpetuated since ages and why nobody challenged it?’’ he asked.

Stating that he has pointed the ‘error’ to the ‘World Polio Day’ website, Dr. Singh said: “They agreed it’s wrong.’’

“I then wrote a letter to the editor of the Vaccine journal, an internationally renowned medical journal. In fact, this very journal years back had carried an article on Jonas Salk clearly stating October 28 as his birth date. The journal also immediately accepted my letter on the mix-up of dates and published it,’’ added Dr. Singh.

He added that despite reminders and follow-ups there has been no major effort to rectify the situation. “For years, we have been perpetuating this error by misquoting a legend’s birth. If Rotary International has faltered here by choosing the wrong day, isn’t it our duty to correct the same? October 24 is not yet a United Nation’s observance, but even if it has become synonymous with Polio Day can’t we celebrate the whole week as a polio week to satisfy all parties,’’ noted Dr. Singh.

Dr. Singh added that he had brought the issue to the notice of World Health Organisation.

“This year, they have refrained from mentioning the date,’’ he noted.

Google doodles Salk's 100th birthday on 28th October 2014

Friday, October 24, 2014

पोलियोत्तर संलक्षण (पोस्ट पोलियो सिंड्रोम / Post-Polio Syndrome)

साल्क (1955) और सेबिन (1962) टीकों के इस्तेमाल की स्वीकृति मिलने के बाद से दुनिया के लगभग सभी देशों से पोलियोमाइलिटिस (शिशु अंगघात) का उन्मूलन हो चुका है।
विश्व स्वास्थ्य संगठन (वर्ल्ड हेल्थ आर्गनाइजेशन, डब्ल्यूटीओ) का अनुमान है कि दुनिया भर में 1.2 करोड़ लोग किसी न किसी हद तक विकलांगता पोलियो माइलिटिस जन्य विकलांगता से ग्रस्त हैं। नेशनल सेंटर फ़ार हेल्थ स्टेटिस्टिक्स का अनुमान है कि संयुक्त राज्य अमरीका में 10 लाख लोग पोलियो से ग्रस्त रहे हैं। उनमें से 4,33,000 लोगों ने पक्षाघात की शिकायत है जिसकी वजह से किसी न किसी तरह की विकलांगता के शिकार हुए हैं।
पोलियो की मार से बचे इन लोगों में से अधिकतर लोगों ने बरसों सक्रिय जीवन जीया है, पोलियो की उनकी यादें कब की भूल चुकी हैं और उनके स्वास्थ्य स्थिर हैं। 1970 के दशक के अंतिम बरसों के आते-आते पोलियो से बचे लोग थकान, दर्द, सांस लेने या निकलने में तकलीफ और अतिरिक्त थकान जैसी नयी समस्याएं महसूस करने लगे। चिकित्सा व्यवसायिकों ने इसे पोलियोत्तर संलक्षण (पोस्ट पोलियो सिंड्रोम, पीपीएस) नाम दिया। पोलियोत्तर संलक्षण से जुड़ी थकान महसूस करते हैं कुछ लोग जो फ्लू में महसूस होने वाली निढाल कर देने वाली थकान होती है और समय बीतने के साथ और बढ़ती जाती है। इस तरह की थकान शारीरिक गतिविधयों के दौरान और बढ़ जाती है और मानसिक एकाग्रता और याददाश्त की भी समस्या पैदा कर सकती है। कुछ लोग पेशीय थकान अनुभव करते हैं जो एक तरह की पेशीय दुर्बलता होती है और व्यायाम करने पर बढ़ती और आराम कर लेने पर कम हो जाती है।
हालिया अनुसंधान संकेत करते हैं कि व्यक्ति जितनी लंबी अवधि तक पोलियो के अवशिष्टों के साथ जीता है, वह अवधि उसकी कालक्रमिक आयु जितनी ही जोखिम कारक होती है। यह भी प्रतीत होता है कि जो लोग सबसे गंभीर किस्म के अंगघात का अनुभव करते हैं और जिनके क्रिया-कलापों में सबसे ज्यादा सुधार आया होता है वे अब उन लोगों के मुकाबले ज्यादा परेशानी अनुभव करते हैं मूलत: जिनके अंगघात कम गंभीर रहे होते हैं।
पोलियोत्तर लक्षणों पर मौजूदा आम राय तंत्रिका कोशिकाओं और उनसे जुड़े पेशीय तंतुओं पर ध्यान केंद्रित करती है। जब पोलियो के विषाणु मोटर न्यूरान्स को क्षत्रिग्रस्त कर देते हैं या नष्ट कर देते हैं पेशीय तंतु अनाथ हो जाते हैं और उन्हें लकवा मार जाता है। पोलियो के हमले से बच जाने पर ऐसे लोग फिर से इसलिए चलने-फिरने लगते हैं कि तंत्रिका कोशिकाएं किसी हद ठीक हो जाती हैं। उसके बाद हालत में जो सुधार आते हैं आस-पास की अप्रभावित तंत्रिका कोशिकाओं की ‘पल्लवित’ होने और अनाथ कोशिकाओं के साथ फिर से जुड़ने की क्षमता का नतीजा होते हैं।
इस पुनर्गिठत तंत्रिका पेशीय प्रणाली के साथ बरसों से जीवित उत्तरजीवी अब दुष्परिणाम अनुभव कर रहे हैं—थकी हुई तंत्रिका कोशिकाएं और थकी हुई पेशियां और जोड़ ऊपर से बढ़ती उम्र के प्रभाव। हालांकि इनके विषाणु जन्य कारणों की खोज जारी है लेकिन इस अवधारणा की पुष्टि करने वाले निर्णायक प्रमाण उपलब्ध नहीं हैं कि पोलियोत्तर संलक्षण पोलियो विषाणु के पुनर्संक्रमण का नतीजा हैं।
पोलियो के उत्तरजीवी नियमित समयांतराल पर चिकित्सकीय मदद लेकर, खान-पान में सावधानी बरत कर, ज्यादा वजन वृद्धि टाल कर और धूम्रपान और अत्यधिक शराब के सेवन से परहेज करके अपनी सेहत की देख-भाल करते हैं।
उत्तरजीवियों को अपने शरीर की आवाज सुननी चाहिए। ऐसी गतिविधियों से बचना चाहिए जिनसे दर्द होता है-यह खतरे का संकेत है। बेरोक-टोक दर्द निवारक दवाइयों, विशेष कर स्वापकों के सेवन से बचें। पेशियों का जरूरत से ज्यादा उपयोग न करें लेकिन नियमित रूप से ऐसे काम-काज करते रहें जिनसे रोग के लक्षण और खराब न हों, विशेषत: व्यायाम न करें या दर्द होने पर व्यायाम जारी न रखें। ऐसे कामों से परहेज करें जिनसे दस मिनट से ज्यादा समय तक बनी रहने वाली थकान आती हो। अनावश्यक कामों से परहेज करके ऊर्जा बचायें।
पोलियोत्तर संलक्षण जानलेवा नहीं होते लेकिन ये गौण किस्म की तकलीफ और विकलांगता पैदा कर सकते हैं। बहुतायत से होने वाली पोलियोत्तर संलक्षण जन्य अक्षमता है चलने-फिरने की क्षमता का ह्रास। पोलियोत्तर संलक्षण से पीड़ित व्यक्तियों को खाना पकाने, धुलाई करने, खरीददारी और ड्राइविंग करने-जैसी दैन्य-दिन गतिविधियों के निष्पादन में भी कठिनाई हो सकती है। छड़ी, बैसाखी, वाकर, ह्वील चेयर या बिजली से चलने वाले स्कूटर कुछ लोगों के लिए अनिवार्य हो सकते हैं। तकलीफ ज्यादा होने पर इन व्यक्तियों को अपना पेशा बदलना पड़ सकता है या सिरे से काम करना बंद करना पड़ सकता है।
बहुत से लोगों को अपनी नयी विकलांगता के साथ तालमेल बनाने में कठिनाई होती है। पोलियोत्तर संलक्षण से पीड़ित कुछ लोगों के लिए फिर से बचपन की पोलियो की अनुभूति के साथ जीना आघातकारी, यहां तक कि संत्रासक हो सकता है। सौभाग्य से चिकित्सकीय समुदाय का ध्यान बड़ी तेजी से पीपीएस की ओर आकर्षित हो रहा है और ऐसे स्वास्थ्य रक्षा व्यवसायिकों की तादाद बढ़ रही है जो पीपीएस को बेहतर ढंग से समझते हैं और उचित चिकित्सकीय और मनोवैज्ञानिक सहायता कर सकते हैं; इसके अलावा पीपीएस सहायक समूह, परचे और शैक्षणिक तंत्र भी हैं जो पीपीएस के बारे में अद्यतन जानकारियां देने के साथ-साथ लोगों को इस बात की भी जानकारी देते हैं कि अपने संघर्ष में वे अकेले नहीं हैं।
स्रोत: पोस्ट पोलियो हेल्थ इंटरनेशनल, मांट्रियल न्यूरोलॉजिकल हॉस्पिटल पोस्ट-पोलियो क्लिनिक।

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

UPSC asked to withdraw proforma which demands photographs showing disability

Published on Oct 14, 2014
In an interim reprieve for the differently abled Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) aspirants, the Court of Chief Commissioner for Persons with Disability has directed the commission to withdraw its proforma in which applicants had to provide photographs showing their disability as a proof.

The order has been issued after Satendra Singh, who claimed that he was earlier rejected by UPSC because of his disability, complained against the new directive. "Despite valid certificates, why was UPSC asking for photographs," he had questioned.

Source: CNN IBN 

Monday, October 13, 2014

Finally UPSC asked to withdraw its 'discriminatory proforma' for disabled applicants

UPSC directed to withdraw its ‘discriminatory proforma’

The hindu, october 8 

The format asks applicants to paste ‘photo showing disability’

The Court of Chief Commissioner for Persons with Disability has directed the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) to withdraw its “discriminatory performa”. It has directed the UPSC to refrain from asking differently-abled people to submit photographs showing their disabilities and to consider the ‘permanent disability certificate’ issued from a government hospital as a valid proof.

The action comes following an intervention by Satendra Singh, who has been working in the area of disability rights and had written to the UPSC against “its discriminatory policies”.

“Despite having a valid disability certificate, the UPSC asks all applicants to use their own format for disability certificate. This is against the existing guidelines but nobody challenged the UPSC. Moreover, the format asks applicants to paste ‘photo showing disability’, which is not only discriminatory but also infringement of right to privacy. An example – how can an amputee female attach her photograph?’’ asked Dr. Singh.

He added that in a follow-up to his complaint, he also quoted the Amended Persons with Disabilities Rules 2009, which were circulated to all the Ministries/Departments.

“The amended rules show the format to be used for disability certificate and none of them asks ‘to showcase disability’,” said the physician.

He further pointed out that Rule 6 of the same order clearly states that a certificate issued under Rule 4 is to be generally valid for all purpose. “When a person already has a valid government certificate of permanent disability why does he have to get his disability certificate again in the prescribed form of the UPSC?’’ questioned Dr. Singh.

The Court of CCPD accepting the plea presented by Dr. Singh has now passed a direction to the UPSC to accept disability certificate issued by government hospitals in the existing format.

In its letter to UPSC, the Court has noted: “The Chief Commissioner of Persons with Disabilities has directed to accept the disability certificate of the persons with disabilities in the existing format. Your comments in the matter are to reach Court within 20 days of the recipient of the communication (dated September 22).”

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

नागर विमानन सुरक्षा ब्यूरो को न्यायालय मुख्य आयुक्त निशक्तजन की फटकार. जांच के नाम पर दुर्व्यवहार

हिंदुस्तान ८ अक्टूबर २०१४ पृष्ठ ४ 

नागर विमानन सुरक्षा ब्यूरो (BCAS) एवं नागर विमानन महानिदेशालय (डीजीसीए) दोनों को न्यायालय मुख्य आयुक्त निशक्तजन ने ३० दिन का नोटिस दिया है की वह सुनिश्चित करें की विकलांग यात्रियों को सुरक्षा जांच के बहाने प्रताड़ित न किया जाये .  न्यायालय ने यह आदेश GTB हॉस्पिटल के डॉक्टर सतेंद्र सिंह की शिकायत पर किया. डॉ सिंह को इस साल फ़रवरी  में हैदराबाद एयरपोर्ट पर सिक्योरिटी गार्ड ने अपने विकलांग पाँव के कैलिपर को उतारने के लिए जोर डाला था. डॉ सिंह ने सुरक्षा प्रकिर्या में पूरा साथ दिया और कैलिपर के लिए एक्सप्लोसिव ट्रेस डिवाइस (ETD ) की गुज़ारिश की जो बिना दिक्कत के कृतिम  अंग और कैलिपर स्कैन कर सकता है . सिक्योरिटी इन्चर्ज सिर्फ डॉ सिंह का कैलिपर उतरवा कर मशीन में डालने पर अडिग था और इस गहमागहमी में डॉ सिंह को काफी कुछ सुन्ना भी पड़ा. उन्होंने यह भी बताये की वह एक सरकारी एम्प्लोयी हैं और एक मेडिकल डॉक्टर भी हैं पर वे नहीं माने. अपने अधिकारों के बारे में सजग होने के कारन उन्होंने उतरने से साफ़ मन कर दिया और सीनियर अफसर को बुलवाया जिन्होंने स्तिथि संभाली और   ETD  से स्कैन करा.

यह घटना पहले भी मश्हूर कलाकार सुधा चंद्रन के साथ हो चुकी है जो जयपुर फुट पहनती हैं . ऐसी हीनता विदेशो में नहीं हैं जहां एक विकलांग व्यक्ति व्हीलचेयर में बैठा बैठे ही स्कैन कर लिया जाता है और उसे उपहास का पात्र नहीं बनना पड़ता न ही अपने कपडे उतरने पड़ते हैं. इसी साल मार्च में BCAS ने नयी SoP जारी की जिसमे फिर सुरक्षा जांच में विकलांग यात्रियों के लिए साफ़ निर्देश नहीं थे. अप्रैल में एक मीटिंग में डॉ सिंह व अन्य पीड़ित लोगो ने जॉइंट कमिश्नर BB Dash को अमेरिका की जांच एजेंसियों के दिशा निर्देश दिखाई जो साफ़ कहती है की विकलांग यात्रियों को अपने कृतिम पाँव निकलने की जरूरत नहीं है

Saturday, September 20, 2014

MCI pulled up by NHRC for failing in its social responsibility towards disabled persons

MCI pulled up for failing in its social responsibility

NEW DELHI, September 17, 2014, THE HINDU

The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) has come down heavily on the Medical Council of India (MCI) for not fulfilling its social responsibility towards differently-abled persons who avail of medical services and for not educating doctors on how to provide them treatment with dignity.

The Commission has recently issued a notice to the Council based on complaint by Dr. Satendra Singh, a differently-abled doctor at University College of Medical Sciences. He had earlier written to the MCI to include ‘disability education’ in medical curriculum.

“According to the World Report on Disability by the World Health Organisation (WHO), physicians worldwide generally lack training about caring for persons with disabilities, thus frequently compromising their health care experiences and health outcomes. The situation is worse in India as the MCI has failed to fulfil its social responsibility,’’ said Dr. Singh.

Previously, the MCI had instructed all medical institutions in India to submit compliance report on disability initiatives. “Majority of the responses indicate lack of awareness. I wrote again to the MCI to include disability education in 2013, but there was no response. Later an RTI reply by the MCI highlighted how the Council was not able to do justice towards disabled persons,” said Dr. Singh.

Now, the NHRC has demanded that the Council include mandatory access audits in all medical inspections. Also these access audits must include differently-abled persons in the team.

Source: The Hindu

Similar stories:

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Delhi Metro continues to be disabled unfriendly

Today's Indian Express reports my yet another nightmare with Delhi Metro Earlier, I faced problems at Kashmere Gate where broken wheelchair was provided to me. The Hindu covered it here. DMRC wrote to me that they have rectified the wheelchairs at above station and assured that it won't happen again.

False assurances! Here's the evidence not at one but two different metro stations.

Whatever the DMRC officials says, the helpers carrying wheelchair users are not at all trained. On the above wheelchair (without footrest), the helper rushed me the moment I sat without realising that my feets are being dragged.

Moreover, they usually carry the wheelchair users to ladies compartment. On a lighter note, everybody likes being surrounded by beautiful faces but on a serious note, it was hugely embarrassing for a male to be in a coach reserved for ladies. Someone who did not see my polio limb said, "OMG! what is he doing here?". Someone whispered, 'he is disabled' and there was a pindrop silence.

This was clear cut exclusion and not at all inclusion. Why cant DMRC officials reserve this coach for elderly and disabled and earmarked the last one for ladies? This coach because it's attached to the driver who informs the helper at next stop.

These things will continue to happen till DMRC involve people with disabilities in customer surveys or policy changes. Also, disabled commuters must raise there voice at each and every act of discrimination. 

Monday, September 15, 2014

Disability Court gives DGCA 30 days to prove disabled flyers are not harassed

DGCA given 30 days to prove disabled not harassed

15 Sept, 2014 NEW DELHI: The court of the chief commissioner for persons with disabilities (CCPD) has asked the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) to reply within 30 days, with proof, that people with disabilities are not being harassed or humiliated at airports and that security personnel have been sensitized towards them. The court wrote to DGCA after a person with locomotor disability claimed he was harassed and humiliated at Hyderabad Airport.

TOI had reported that on February 23, Dr Satendra Singh, who was travelling from Hyderabad to Delhi, was asked by security at Hyderabad's Rajiv Gandhi International Airport to remove his leg brace during frisking. Singh, who teaches at the University College of Medical Sciences, Delhi University, has post-polio residual paralysis and uses a knee-foot-ankle-orthosis (KFAO) also called a caliper or brace, for support.

On March 10, Singh had complained to Arvind Ranjan, director general (CISF) and the CCPD. On March 30, CISF organized a workshop on 'soft skills' for handling disabled passengers where Singh was invited to share his views on frisking of people with disabilities. Top CISF and Bureau of Civil Aviation Security (BCAS) officials were also present at the session.

Source: TOI dated 15 Sept

Also read in same blog:

Saturday, September 13, 2014

'Appointment includes promotion' : SC on 3% quotas for disabled

Supreme Court clears 3% quotas for disabled, in jobs, promotions 


The Supreme Court on Friday ruled in favour of three per cent reservation for differently-abled candidates in civil services, not only at the stage of their appointments but also for departmental promotions.

Giving a level-playing field to more than four crore people with disabilities in India, the apex court held that the Centre, states and Union Territories were obligated to implement the rules of reservation for this class in the matters of appointment, selection, direct recruitment, deputation and also for promotions. It asked the Centre to show a big heart and give the differently-abled people their due in all central and state government jobs.

A bench led by Chief Justice of India R M Lodha reiterated its earlier verdict that the principle of not exceeding 50 per cent reservation would not be applicable while granting quota for differently-abled people.

The bench expressed its displeasure at the government seeking to adopt a hyper-technical approach, as its counsel pressed that three per cent reservation could be given only at the stage of appointment but not for promotion. The Persons With Disabilities Act provides for three per cent quota for the differently-abled people.

“Appointment will include promotion. You are frustrating the very reservation policy for the disabled — the class for which this beneficial piece of legislation was enacted, by arguing against it,” the bench, also comprising Justices Kurian Joseph and Rohinton F Nariman, told Additional Solicitor General Pinky Anand.

Anand sought to point out that the reservation at the stage of promotion may lead to huge resentment, especially among employees in Group A and Group B categories, since many beneficiaries may get ahead of their seniors.

She was placing an appeal against the Bombay High Court order, directing the government to implement three per cent reservation for the differently-abled in civil services recruitment, besides granting the benefit in the matter of promotion too. This order was issued on a PIL filed by the National Confederation for Development of Disabled, which was represented by senior advocate R S Suri and Arpit Bhargava in the apex court.

The bench, however, told the Additional Solicitor General that the objective of the reservation policy, as envisaged by Parliament, was unequivocal that the differently-abled people must get the benefits without technical impediments.

“Once Parliament prescribes for reservation in appointments, it will cover direct recruitment, promotion and even deputation. Our experience tells us that it is one legislation that has never been effectively implemented. In any case, it is a beneficial legislation and you should interpret in a manner so that they get the benefits,” said the bench.

At this, the Additional Solicitor General agreed with the bench and conceded not to press the appeal any further. The court then dismissed the appeal.

The three per cent reservation, as clarified by the apex court in its last year’s judgment, is to the extent of one per cent each for the blind, hearing and speech impaired, and persons suffering from locomotor disability or cerebral palsy.

The Supreme Court had in October last ruled in favour of a minimum three per cent reservation for them in all central and state government jobs. Regretting the denial of opportunities to the differently-abled people in the country, the court had quashed the Centre’s 2005 office memorandum and the government’s claim that the reservation policy not only had to be different for Group A, B C and D posts but the quota had to confine to “identified” post.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

BITS Pilani holds 3rd edition of Junoon (Sports fest for youth with disabilities)

INDIAN EXPRESS. Written by Sumegha Gulati | New Delhi |  September 7, 2014 

Kartavya Khanna with Chief Guest Dr Singh at Junoon

The third edition of Junoon 2014 — a two-day national sports fest for youth with disabilities organised by the Birla Institute of Technology and Science (BITS), Pilani — began on Saturday. Dr Satendra Singh, Assistant Professor of Physiology at Delhi’s Guru Teg Bahadur (GTB) hospital was the chief guest of the event.

The fest began with several games being organised between disabled and other students. Over 200 participants from eight NGOs working in the disability sector — four from Delhi, one from Jaipur and three others from Jhunjhunu and other nearby areas — are participating in Junoon this year.

According to Kartavya Khanna, NSS President and a third-year BTech student at the college, the fest was first held two years ago after the body felt the need to extend sporting opportunities to all youth irrespective of their physical conditions.

“We started this in 2012 as a one-day event when only racing competitions were held. The next year, we thought of expanding it to other sports. So bicycle extravaganza, basketball and volleyball were added in Junoon 2013. This year, bocce (a ball sport), basketball, cricket, volleyball and athletics have been organised,” Khanna told Newsline over phone from Pilani.

Khanna said that disability is often treated as an illness in India and that Junoon attempts to bridge that gap as the fest inculcates a sense of equality among people.

Official website:  Junoon 14 

News Source: Indian Express

Top govt websites are not disabled-friendly

TIMES OF INDIA, 26 Aug 2014, NEW DELHI: An estimated 70 million disabled people in India have no accessibility to the information on top government websites. This is despite Indian government's guidelines for all government websites to comply as per the international accessibility standards. "The fact that the disabled friendly society is still not a priority for the government is apparent because barely 10 states sent their ministers and half that number of secretaries to the Centre's first conference to review disability affairs," said Thaawar Chand Gehlot,the union minister for social justice and empowerment on Saturday. 

Inspite of the ministry of social justice providing financial grant to make websites accessible for disabled under SIPDA (Scheme for Implementation of PWD Act), websites of key organizations like Supreme Court of India, Election Commission of India (ECI), University Grants Commission (UGC), Delhi University (DU), Jawaharlal Nehru University ( JNU), All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), Reserve Bank of India (RBI), Comptroller and Auditor General of India (CAG), Union Public Service Commission (UPSC), Medical Council of India (MCI), National Human Right Commission (NHRC) and National Commission for Women (NCW) are still not disable friendly. 

An activist for disabled people, Dr Satendra Singh, wrote to the ECI in December 2013 to make its website accessible for the disabled voters. On receiving no response, he complained to the court of Chief Commissioner of Persons with Disabilities (CCPD). The ECI however did not respond to CCPD's letter or subsequent reminder as well. On July 31, 2014 CCPD again wrote to ECI to make their website disabled friendly in a time-frame and submit an action taken report in 30 days. "ECI website as of today still remains inaccessible," said Singh.

RTI replies revealed that no institute or university from Delhi ever asked for a SIDPA grant to make buildings accessible in 2010-11 and 2012-13. However, institutions and universities from states like Bihar, Mizoram, Himachal Pradesh, Manipur, Chhattisgarh have availed these grants in 2010-11, while Puducherry, Mizoram, Haryana, Andhra Pradesh, Rajasthan in 2011-12 and Nagaland and Meghalaya in 2012-13. In another incident, DU's University College of Medical Sciences' proposal was turned down as it did not have the signature of the executive engineer. 

"On one hand the ministry is saying that the funds are under-utilized but on the other hand they are turning down proposals of deserving institutions despite the principal requesting for it," added Singh. 

Not all institutes who availed the grant have made their websites accessible. "MJP Rohilkhand University, Bareilly took Rs 4 lakhs to make its website accessible in 2010-11, while Puducherry was granted Rs 10 lakh in 2011-12 to make the website of the Directorate of Social welfare accessible. They are still out of reach," said Singh. MCI had asked all medical institutions to submit a compliance report on their disabled friendly initiatives, yet its own website is not as per the required standards. 

"The root cause of this indifference stems from the exclusion of disabled people in policy making/ decision taking. An accessible website will not only help a person with visual impairment/ low vision but also deaf, cognitive impaired and learning disabled," said Singh. 
Source: TOI

Election Commission warned to make websites disabled friendly

The Hindu, 18 Aug 2014
The ECI has been given a 30-day deadline (from July 31 onwards) to comply and make amends.

Pressure from disability rights activists has prompted the Court of the Chief Commissioner for Persons with Disabilities to issue a stern warning and ultimatum to the Election Commission of India (ECI) asking it to make its website user friendly for persons with disability.

The ECI has been given a 30-day deadline (from July 31 onwards) to comply and make amends.

Dr. Satendra Singh, a polio survivor and assistant professor of physiology at the University College of Medical Sciences and Guru Tegh Bahadur Hospital, Delhi, who has been pursuing the case said: “The ECI has been directed to intimate the Court of the Chief Commissioner for Persons with Disabilities within 30 days about the action taken on the direction.”

Dr. Singh added that while Delhi has made its website accessible for persons with disability the same has not been made available to the rest of the country.

“The visually impaired need to have a user-friendly website to ensure that they are able to make an informed choice before voting. Though we have been appealing to the ECI since December last year there has been no response from them,” said Dr. Singh.

“Despite my letters, the ECI did not budge and did not make their website accessible to disabled voters. There are Prime Minister Office (PMO) orders as well as guidelines whereby all government institutions must make their websites disabled-friendly. However, we are hoping that things will improve now,” said Dr. Singh.

Accusing the ECI of having violated the orders issued by the PMO in 2010, Dr. Singh said: “The current direction by the Court of the Chief Commissioner for Persons with Disabilities we hope will work favourably for the persons with disabilities and give them the right to vote in a well informed manner.’’

Source: The Hindu

Friday, August 8, 2014

Medical colleges flout disabled-friendly rules

Times of India, 30 July 2014

NEW DELHI: If you are disabled and believe that at least the hospitals will be sensitive to your needs, you are in for some disappointment. For, more than a year after Medical Council of India issued its circular seeking compliance reports stating the degree to which the institutions are accessible to disabled, only 52 medical colleges responded.

In fact, RTI replies this year revealed that even Medical Council of India has not issued directions to medical institutions to appoint sign language interpreters or make their websites accessible to visually impaired persons.

MCI asked medical colleges to submit the compliance report on March 29, 2013. And, in April 2014, Delhi high court observed that "health is not a luxury" and that it "should not be the sole possession of a privileged few".

"MCI should take this seriously and include disabled persons in all policy decisions," said Satendra Singh, professor of physiology at University College of Medical Sciences, Delhi University, who had made a representation to the chief commissioner of PWD on the same issue last year.

The letter from Medical Council of India (MCI) to medical colleges last year was reportedly a result of this representation. Singh had also asked for access audits to be made a mandatory part of MCI's inspection before accreditation.

Those who responded to MCI's circular include All India Institute of Medical Sciences and Maulana Azad Medical College in Delhi apart from Gold Field Institute of Medical Sciences and Research in Faridabad, Fakhruddin Ali Ahmed Medical College and Hospital, Assam, Peoples College of Medical Science and Research Centre, Bhopal, and GMERS Medical College, Ahmedabad.

But MCI, too, has not maintained data like number of medical institutions having a physical medicine and rehabilitation department in India and details of enabling units for persons with disabilities in medical colleges.

Dubbing many of these efforts an "eyewash", Singh said that All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) in Delhi had constituted a committee following the directive but still major parts like the library are inaccessible as the committee did not include disabled persons.

An access audit to make medical colleges barrier-free was conducted by an NGO in the capital, but the report has not yet been implemented, he informed.

Singh also said that a majority of the hospitals lack accessible toilets, there is no provision for separate queues or reserved parking for patients with disabilities and even Medical Council of India inspections do not include access audits.

"It's the social accountability of medical institutions to protect the right to health of disabled persons. Being in hospital is a worrying time for any patient, but imagine what it is like if you are unable to communicate with the doctor in an emergency room," Singh said.

He added, "Are deaf patients not entitled to live a healthy life? Why are blind patients unable to find a doctor of their choice or find out their OPD timings from hospital websites? It's simply because they haven't been made readable to them".

Also read:
Most medical colleges ignore directive on facilities for disabled
AIIMS plans access to disabled, others silent
MCI asks all medical institutions to be 'accessible' 

A metro ride turns into a nightmare

The Hindu, 29 July 2014, Delhi

Wheelchair without footrest at Metro station
Dr. Satendra Singh, a polio survivor and assistant professor of Physiology at the University College of Medical Sciences and Guru Teg Bahadur Hospital was in for a rude shock when he decided to take a ride in the Delhi Metro.

The doctor, who was travelling from the Vaishali metro station to Rohini East this past Sunday, first found that reserved parking for differently-abled persons at Vaishali was occupied by cars which did not have the right to park there.

His ordeal, however, had just begun. After getting into a rather crowded metro, the doctor was forced to stand throughout his journey to the Kashmere Gate metro station (where he had to change his train) because none of his co-passengers got up to offer him the seat reserved for differently-abled persons.

“At Kashmere Gate, I decided to ask for and use a wheelchair as my journey was long and I was already exhausted. I approached the metro staff at the counter with my request and was given a wheel chair with no foot rest. I pointed the obvious lapse to the supervisor at the counter telling him that the wheelchair cannot be used as my feet would drag on the ground. After complaining the wheel chair was replaced,’’ said the doctor, who is also an RTI activist.

Mr. Singh added that though the supervisor at the metro station did make an entry about the use of a wheel chair, no assistance was provided to help him in registering his protest or suggestion.

“While the metro official did note down my phone number, name and destination, he just turned away when I asked him to help me with registering my complaint with customer care. I later did call up the metro helpline, which informed me about the various facilities offered to differently-abled persons on the Delhi Metro including priority parking close to the station,” said Dr. Singh.

Demanding a more hands-on approach to help differently-abled persons travel with ease, Dr. Singh said: “Adequate parking facilities, help by the general public to give reserved seats, proper maintenance of wheel chairs and prompt registration and redress of complaints would go a long way in ensuring a stress-free travel. This should be provided as a matter of right to differently-abled persons travelling on the Metro.”

Source: Hindu

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Whistle-blower praises Delhi CEO's efforts in making elections in Delhi disabled-friendly

Less last-mile pain for disabled,but some not so lucky
Times of India, 11 April 2014

"Dr Satendra Singh,who highlighted the lack of accessible polling booths earlier,said that he is satisfied with the arrangements this time.He credited the election office and NGOs for the improvement. Disability rights activist Javed Abidi welcomed the change.I was in a car.When the cops saw I am a wheelchair user,they allowed us to drive in till the booth.One of our staff members whose polling booth was in a community banquet hall said the place has a permanent ramp. Every election,I was forced to leave my wheelchair and walk up to the booth on crutches.The election commission made excellent arrangements this time, said Mohammed Riyaz Khan,a resident of Jawahar Mohalla."

Read the full story here on TOI website.

Friday, April 11, 2014

Disability activists slams Modi's insulting comments on disabled

To,                                                                                                             10 April 2014

Chief Election Commissioner
Govt of India
Chief Commissioner for PwD
Govt of India

Dear Sir,

Being a citizen of India and a person with disability, I strongly condemn the views expressed by BJP presidential candidate Shri Narendra Modi at Jamshedpur today on 10 April, 2014.

The PTI reports that Mr Modi said at the election rally that "the country does not want a deaf and dumb, handicapped government, run by remote control, at the Centre. The country wants a 'sevak' (worker) to lead it to new heights,"

The text of the report appearing in the Pioneer is available at the following link here:

If the reported remarks are true it reflects very poorly on a candidate who is aspiring to be the Prime Minister of the country.

It is not the first such remark by Mr Modi. I quote from the New Indian Express verbatim:

“…He didn’t spare former chief minister Ajit Jogi either calling him an “apahij” (cripple)—“He is in wheelchair...,” implying a disabled leader cannot take his party to victory. He compared the Congress leadership with a Bollywood movie where a family introduced their beautiful daughter while finalising a marriage proposal but later switched sisters by bringing in the one with disability (Jogi) for the marriage ceremony…”

It is unbecoming of a person contesting to become the most coveted citizen of the country to express such insensitivity and callousness, even while lashing out at his rival. The language used to deride your rival cannot be tempered with phrases that are clearly derogatory in nature. In a sweeping remark the PM aspirant has deemed persons with disabilities as being unfit to hold the government post. He should, perhaps, read more about FD Roosvelt.

While strongly protesting against such unwanted remarks, the nation calls upon for an unqualified apology from Shri Modi for his insulting remarks.

Two years ago, Shri Sangma made similar derogatory remark that “India should have a President, who is not blind, dumb and deaf.” Neither Election Commission nor CCPD took any action on my complaint dated 9 & 10 July 2012. I request you all to respect the sentiments of disabled community and condemn these outrageous and insulting remarks by a PM candidate.

A disabled and proud citizen of India
Dr Satendra Singh
Press Statement by National Platform for the Rights of the Disabled (NPRD) 11 April 2014
The National Platform for the Rights of the Disabled (NPRD) strongly condemns the views expressed by Shri Narendra Modi at Jamshedpur yesterday while campaigning for the BJP there.

It has been reported that the BJP’s Prime Ministerial aspirant, speaking at an election rally said that "the country does not want a deaf and dumb, handicapped government”. The observations by Mr. Modi reflect a hackneyed mindset that is biased against persons with disabilities. Implicit in Modi’s statement is that persons with disabilities are “handicapped” and unable to discharge any responsibility let alone hold public office.

It has now become a habit for Modi to make such remarks. On an earlier occasion, he had called the former Chhattisgarh CM, Shri Ajit Jogi, a wheelchair user, a “cripple”.

Patronising terms like “specially-abled”, contained in the BJP’s manifesto, cannot hide the parochial mindset of the BJP, which promotes a model of development that works to the disadvantage of the marginalised.

It may be recalled that two years ago the BJP-backed candidate for the President’s office, Shri P.A. Sangma also expressed such insensitivity by stating that “India should have a President, who is not blind, dumb and deaf. India should have a thinking and a functional President.”

We would like to remind the BJP leadership that there are any number of persons with disabilities, the blind and the deaf included, who have made sterling contributions in public life.

Whatever the provocation, even at the height of a bitter political campaign, usage of such terms to deride political opponents is unpardonable. Such insensitivity and callous remarks made with the intent of deriding your opponents cannot be condoned and go unchallenged.

The NPRD lodges its unequivocal protest against these insensitive remarks made by the BJP leader and calls for an unqualified apology from him. It urges upon the Election Commission of India to take suitable action against him for these uncalled for remarks, which are not just an insult but question the intelligence and capabilities of persons with disabilities.


The complaint was lodged to ECI by Dr Singh carrying the complaint number JH/12/283194


When netas use disability as abuse. Times of India. 20 Apr 2014