There are about 3000 organisations (Government and voluntary) in the Indian disability sector providing rehabilitation services to persons with disability. However, the focus of their work has been on service delivery at an individual level. Very little has happened in the sector to empower disabled people, their families and friends and to promote & protect the human rights of disabled people. Disability has for long been seen as merely a charity/welfare issue and not as a development/rights issue in our country.
NCPEDP felt that disabled people and disability groups should be encouraged to take the leadership role in this crusade. Thus was born the idea of forming the ‘National Disability Network’, the first of its kind in India.
The aim of the National Disability Network is that the cross-disability rights movement is spread equitably across the entire country, and there is an environment of empathy towards the rights and the needs of persons with disability. The mission of the National Disability Network is to have at least one disability organisation / disability group in all the 593 Districts of our country as part of the Network.
- To promote local advocacy groups and build leadership in the disability sector.
- To facilitate local advocacy groups to join hands with State level groups to eventually form a National Network that will act as a pressure group to influence meaningful policies at various levels – village, block, district, state and national, regarding persons with disabilities.
- To empower disabled people and organisations and to sensitise other concerned sectors through systematic information dissemination on disability related issues like legislations, relevant policies, research findings and current developments.
- To closely monitor and lobby with the governments, corporates and other allied sectors to advocate the adoption and implementation of appropriate policies / legislations.
- To bring issues related to disability to the forefront of national development through a Network that will have representation from all States, Union Territories and Districts of the country.
- To build a common cross-disability platform for sharing of concerns by disabled people from all the corners of the country and to build a joint strategy for a cohesive disability movement in India.
Role of the State Partner:
- Expansion of the Network
- Information Dissemination
- To undertake joint advocacy campaigns and activities with the partners
- Unified World Disability Day celebrations
Some of the Networks achievements have been:
- Getting disability included in the Population Census 2001
- Establishing Disability Law Unit sin four regions of the country
- Inclusion of Disability in 11th Five Year Plan
- Successfully advocated for India’s ratification of CRPD
- Proper enumeration of people with disabilities in Census 2011
- Successfully advocated for a new Disability Rights Bill based on CRPD
- Inclusion of disability as a cross-cutting issue during formulation of 12th Five Year Plan
- Submitted Stakeholder’s Report on Disability for India’s Universal Periodic Review
- Submitted Parallel Report on Disability for India’s CEDAW review
- Submitted Parallel Report on Disability for India’s CRC Review