Do not repeal National Trust Act / change the nomenclature and main objectives


We, the parents of Persons with Intellectual Developmental disabilities are writing this petition with a specific purpose for drawing your urgent attention to the fact that the committee constituted for drafting the new disability legislation was given a specific mandate of drafting a new disability legislation in line with the provisions of the UNCRPD and replace it in place of the present Persons with Disabilities Act 1995.

 

However, a section of the disability sector has been agitating and lobbying for a change in this mandate. This section has been demanding that there should be one “comprehensive” disability law inclusive of all disabilities and all other disability related legislations should be scrapped.

 

2.Though we parents are not averse to having a comprehensive and inclusive new law in place of the existing Persons with Disabilities Act 1995, we certainly oppose the idea of repealing all other disability related Acts. We are of the firm opinion that the utility and usefulness of these other disability legislations, such as, the National Trust Act 1999, the RCI Act 1993 and Mental Health Act, 1987 still remains. Since we represent the four disabilities covered under the National Trust Act we emphatically request you that this Act should be retained with necessary amendments to bring it in line with UNCRPD.

 

3. Sir, you are very well aware of the background under which the National Trust Act was enacted. It was brought in to serve the specific needs of the four disabilities covered by this Act. Hence, in principle it is a “service Act”. It serves the specific needs of these disabilities. Following are the objectives of the NT Act:

 

-to enable and empower persons with (intellectual and developmental disabilities) to live as independently and as fully as possible within and as close to the community to which they belong;

 

-to strengthen facilities to provide support to persons with (these) disability to live within their own families;

 

-to extend support to the registered organizations to provide need based services during period of crisis in the family of persons with (these) disability;

 

-to deal with problems a persons with (these) disability who do not have family support; -to promote measures for the care and protection of persons with (these) disability in the event of death of their parent or guardian;

 

-to evolve procedure for appointment of guardians and trustees for persons with (these) disability requiring such protection;

 

-to facilitate the realization of equal opportunities, protection of rights and full participation of persons with (these) disability. With these laudable objectives the National Trust has been working and during the last decade of its existence it has launched lot of programmes and schemes which has brought much needed relief to persons with intellectual and developmental disabilities. But above all the National Trust Act has provided an answer to the most worrying question of the parents “After us What?”

 

The objectives of National Trust has brought much needed assurance to the parents and families of persons with intellectual and developmental disabilities that their children’s future is secure under the provisions of the National Trust Act.

 

By repealing such an important Act will bring disastrous consequences for the persons with these disabilities, their parents and families. There is also another move to change the basic character, objectives and even the nomenclature of the National Trust Act by amending it and naming it as “National Trust for Legal Capacity and Support to the Persons with Disabilities Amendment Act 2010”. It is understood that these draft amendments which were prepared by a legal consultant to the National Trust have already been submitted to your Ministry. Among other things this draft also intends to include all disabilities as recognized in the Persons with Disabilities Act 1995 and also the mental illness which is covered under the Mental Health Act, 1987.

 

As the organization of parents of persons with Autism, Cerebral Palsy, Mental Retardation and Multiple Disabilities at the National level, we are totally opposed to both the above moves as it will bring enormous harm to the interests of persons with these disabilities affecting their future. We, therefore, earnestly appeal to you that the Ministry should not give its consent either to the demand to repeal the National Trust Act or change its basic character and objectives as explained above.

 

We hope you would consider our request and save the future of our children.

 

Thanking you for your support

 

Parents of persons with Autism, Mental Retardation, Cerebral Palsy and Multiple disabilities

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