Indian Journal of PsychiatryIndian Journal of Psychiatry
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Year : 2019  |  Volume : 61  |  Issue : 10  |  Page : 809-815

The rights of persons with disability act, 2016: Challenges and opportunities

1 Department of Psychiatry, National Institute of Mental Health and Neuro Sciences (NIMHANS), Bengaluru, Karnataka, India
2 Department of Psychiatry, Spandana Health Care, Nandini Layout, Bengaluru, Karnataka, India

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Guru S Gowda
Department of Psychiatry, National Institute of Mental Health and Neuro Sciences, Bengaluru - 560 029, Karnataka
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/psychiatry.IndianJPsychiatry_105_19

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India signed the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Person with Disabilities (UNCRPD) and subsequently ratified the same on October 1, 2007. The UNCRPD proclaims that disability results from an interaction of impairments with attitudinal and environmental barriers which hinders full and active participation in society on an equal basis. Further, the convention also mandates the signatories to change their national laws, to identify and eliminate obstacles and barriers, and to comply with the terms of the UNCRPD. In this regard, the Government of India initially undertook the amendment of laws such as Persons with Disability Act, 1995 (PWD Act 1995). The Rights of PWD Act, 2016 (RPWD Act 2016) replaced the PWD Act 1995 to comply with the UNCRPD. The new act was fine-tuned considering the socio-cultural and local needs of the society, and the available resources. Persons with Mental Illness (PMI) are often stigmatized and discriminated, which hinders their full and active participation in society. This is a much larger issue, especially in women, gender minorities, backward communities, and the poor and the migrated populations. Adding to the complexities, PMIs are often not aware of their illness, refuse the much-needed treatment and often are not in a place to exercise their rights. There is an urgent need to address this issue of attitudinal barrier so that the rights of PMI are upheld. Hence, this article discusses challenges and opportunities in the RPWD Act 2016 from the perspective of PMI.



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