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India’s Finance Minister urged not to dissolve National Trust for persons with disabilities

Girl with Down syndrome painting.
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India’s Department of Empowerment of Persons with Disabilities (DEPwD) has conveyed to the Ministry of Finance that the National Trust must not be wound up or merged with the ministry of social justice and empowerment (MSJE), as concern is growing among families with persons with disabilities over the fate of the National Trust (NT).

According to news sources, the disability department under the MSJE has pitched to continue the Trust, shelter, and dedicated health insurance scheme for persons with intellectual and developmental disabilities.

“Considering its small size in terms of staff and the grant-in-aid and its area of focus is on the empowerment of persons with disabilities, DoE has suggested that it would be better if this body is wound up and the ministry took over its functions,” according to news sources.

Parivaar, a national confederation of 300 organizations of parents of persons with intellectual and developmental disabilities, has issued a statement listing how any attempt to do away or merge NT will prove a severe setback for persons with intellectual and developmental disabilities.

Parivaar has also written to the National Human Rights Commission listing out their worries and the problems ailing NT that need urgent attention. They draw attention to the fact that the post of chairperson of NT has been lying vacant for nearly 6 years.

The secretary DEPwD is officiating as the NT chairperson currently.

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