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Seize the Day: Opening Doors to Employment

This blogpost is written by George Abraham, CEO, Score Foundation. Please note that Eyeway's Blog entries reflect the opinions of the author and contributors, meant to encourage debate and discussion, and not necessarily Score Foundation's official policy position.
Work and the financial independence it provides, is a basic right of every individual. When it comes to people with disabilities this right is often violated.

On 27th January 2014, the Delhi Subordinate Service Selection Board (DSSSB) released a vacancy advertisement for various posts within the Delhi government. On careful reading it was noticed that 7 of the posts were in violation of 3% clause of the PWD Act 1995. We wrote to DSSSB in the matter, asking them to comply with the 3% reservation. At the same time we sought legal intervention, and in collaboration with Human Rights Law and Network, we filed a petition in the Delhi High court on 10th March to seek justice in the matter.

The first hearing was on the 12th of March, where the court issued a notice to all respondents (7 ministries/departments) to summon them on the next hearing as well as to respond on the issue. At the second hearing on the 14th March, the respondents were present and asked by the court to present their side. They were given a week to respond in written on the issue. On 21st March, at the 3rd hearing, only 2 of the respondents, namely Department of Education and DSSSB submitted their responses and the next date for hearing was decided by the honorable judge as 8th May 2014.

On 8th May we were pleasantly surprised to find All India Confederation of the Blind (AICB), had joined the cause by filing a petition for reservation in 2 of the 7 posts we were contesting for. This made our case stronger and put more pressure on the defaulting government ministries/departments. After a grueling one hour session, the honorable court questioned why the matter was not presented before the Chief Commissioner for Persons with Disabilities? To which our learned counsel, Mr. Pankaj Sinha, replied that in the past similar cases had been taken up before the CCPD. However since its order are not legally binding, they had not been implemented by various government bodies. The honorable court ruled vide its order (Click here to read the full order), that the case be heard by CCPD and that the honorable CCPDs ruling be binding.

Consequently at a hearing on 12th May in the court of the honorable CCPD the matter was discussed at length. Following which on 15th May CCPD has order DSSSB to provide 1% reservation to people with blindness and low vision and directed to reopen the application process for the posts of TGT Computer Science, Special Education Teacher, Special Educator and Assistant Teacher, within 15 days of the order. Since Maulana Azad Medical College and Health and Family Welfare Department were not present no consensus was reached on 3 of the 7 posts. These two departments were directed to submit their responses within one week. To read the full CCPD Order Click here. 
The case has been reported in different publication, read media coverage on the issue below:
Business Standard
Economic Times
Zee News
The Statesman

This is a big advocacy success for Score Foundation and we look forward to taking up more such relevant advocacy issues in the future.

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