Landmark Move: Acid Attack Victims Now Have a Quota in Central Government Jobs

The move should help acid attack victims should they encounter discrimination.

In a landmark move, acid attack victims, people afflicted with mental illnesses, autism, and intellectual disabilities, will get a quota in central government jobs, according to an order by the Department of Personnel and Training (DoPT) on 28th January 2018.

This comes close on the heels of the announcement made by Maneka Gandhi, the Minister for Women and Child Development.

The announcement was that the Right of Persons with Disabilities Act, 2016, now includes acid attack victims.

Laxmi Agarwal, an acid attack survivor, who actively campaigns for the rights of acid attack victims.Image Courtesy; Wikipedia.
Laxmi Agarwal, an acid attack survivor, who actively campaigns for the rights of acid attack victims.Image Courtesy; Wikipedia.

The DoPT wrote to central government departments, asking them to reserve 1% of each post for people suffering from blindness and low vision, those deaf or hard of hearing, and those who have a locomotor disability, including cerebral palsy, leprosy, dwarfism, muscular dystrophy, and victims of acid attacks. 1% of such posts will also be reserved for people with autism and mental illnesses, intellectual disabilities and specific learning disabilities.

Intellectual disability is characterised by significant limitations, both in intellectual functioning such as reasoning, learning and problem solving, and in adaptive behaviour that covers a range of daily skills. A person with benchmark disabilities is defined as one who has not less than 40% of a specified disability

The Rights of Persons With Disabilities Act, 2016 was the precursor to enhancing the reservation quota for those with learning disabilities, and acid attack victims.

An earlier order released by the same department required 3% of all posts to be reserved for those with disabilities, and of that, 1% would be reserved for those with blindness or low vision; hearing impairment and locomotor disability or cerebral palsy.

All government organisations have to deploy grievance redressal officers, to look into any complaints or grievances that might arise. Any person with a benchmark disability, who faces discrimination, can report the case to the designated officer. The deadline is two months, and the action taken must be communicated to the person.

These steps have been taken to ensure that the reservations for people from backward classes do not get adjusted due to the reservation for persons with disabilities.

The authorities have always been quick to address the grievances of acid attack victims. In September 2017, five acid attack victims and a transgender person were facing issues securing jobs. The Delhi High Court intervened, and all parties concerned got gainfully employed, as reported by The Hindu.

You may also like: It’s What’s Beneath the Skin That Counts: Acid Attack Survivors Who Never Backed Down

This step should come as a relief to those who face discrimination while searching for a job. The order can be read here.

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