GUIDELINE FOR DISABLED PERSONS (Syllabus: GS Paper 2 – Vulnerable Sections)

News-CRUX-10     9th July 2024        
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Context: In a landmark verdict, the Supreme Court of India has issued guidelines governing the portrayal of people with disabilities in films and visual media, aiming to promote accurate and respectful representation.

Guideline for Disabled Persons in Films

  • Authentic Representation: The Supreme Court (SC) emphasized the need for authentic and respectful portrayal of individuals with disabilities in films and media.
  • Boundaries of Creative Freedom: The court clarified that artistic freedom under Article 19(1)(a) does not extend to mocking, stereotyping, or disparaging marginalized groups, aligning with constitutional and RPwD Act 2016 objectives.
  • Influence of Cinema: Recognizing cinema's influential role, the court highlighted that inaccurate or stereotypical portrayals can perpetuate harmful misconceptions about people with disabilities.
  • Avoidance of Stereotypes: Chief Justice of India (CJI) underscored that resorting to stereotypes diminishes the diverse experiences of disabled individuals, contrary to the anti-discrimination principles under Article 14.
  • Impact of Language on Perception: The court noted that terms like "cripple" and "spastic" contribute to devalued societal perceptions of persons with disabilities, reinforcing institutional discrimination.

Rights of Persons with Disabilities Act, 2016

  • About: The Act implemented the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, adopted in 2006 and ratified by India in 2007.
  • Replacing the Previous Legislation: The 2016 Act superseded the Persons with Disabilities Act of 1995, initiating significant changes in disability rights legislation.
  • Mandates for Accessibility: The Act mandated the central government to establish guidelines and standards for public buildings to ensure accessibility for persons with disabilities, with provisions for periodic review and updates.
  • Free Education Provision: Every child with benchmark disability between the age of 6 to 18 years entitled to free education.
  • Recognition of Disabilities: 21 types of disabilities recognized, including intellectual disability, acid attack victims, etc.
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