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Times of India
09 February 2012
Pune India

Job reservations in civic bodies, recreational facilities, libraries, counseling and vocational centres and barrier–free buildings, public spaces and transport facilities are some demands raised by various organizations working for the welfare of the physically and mentally challenged, ahead of the civic polls.

Handicapped Want Focus On Their Needs This Poll Season

Jagrut Apang Sanghatna, Bapu Trust, Sa, Basic Need and other organizations working for the needs and rights of the physically and mentally challenged put forth their demands in view of the civic elections, on Tuesday.

"The issues pertaining to the physically and mentally challenged deserve attention, because these have been largely neglected. The rights of the physically and mentally disabled need to be kept in mind," said Sadhana Khati, project leader with Bapu Trust, while addressing the news conference.

The manifesto demands better water, health, sanitation, roads and public transport; involving organizations working for the physically and mentally challenged during policy making and policy implementation, encourage research on the rights of the physically and mentally challenged, four per cent job reservations in the Pune and Pimpri Chinchwad civic bodies, sensitizing elected representatives on issues of the physically and mentally challenged and medical treatments at all government hospitals and clinics.

"Special attention should be paid to the needs of the physically and mentally challenged girls and women like admissions in schools, facilities for health, education, transportation, employment, special foster homes. As per the United Nations' charter, the mentally challenged should be acknowledged eligible for voting rights, ration card and other relevant documents," said activist, Lata Bhise Sonawane.

They want the Pune Municipal Corporation, the Pimpri Chinchwad Municipal Corporation (PCMC), and the Zilla Parishad to conduct a survey to identify issues and problems pertaining to the physically and mentally challenged. They should also acknowledge the rights of the physically and mentally challenged, and prepare a time–bound action plan to help them enjoy their rights. Allotment of a suitable budget and creation of vigilance committees in various wards, blocks and villages should be done, the manifesto said.

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