TODAY -

UTCOM calls on Governor for representation of women, disabled persons in ADCs
Source: The Sangai Express

Imphal, June 19 2018: Calling on the Governor for representation of women and persons with disabilities in the Autonomous District Councils in hill districts, the United Tribal Civil Organisations Manipur (UTCOM) has submitted a memorandum to the Governor of the State on Tuesday.

In the memorandum submitted to the Governor, UTCOM highlighted the need to exercise 'equality' enshrined in the Constitution of India, especially in the hill districts to uplift the women and the disabled persons whose representation in the local bodies, ADCs and the State Legislative Assembly is 'almost nil' .

Women constitute 50% of the total population of the State, however, their representation in the local bodies (governance) is almost nil.

This is not because of lack of ability but 'gender discrimination and gender inequality' prevailing in the society.

It is very 'illogical' that male members representing just 50% of the total population are formulating policies for the entire (100%) population, UTCOM said in its memorandum seeking the attention of the Governor.

The seat reserved for women in the decentralised institutions like Panchayat and Municipality provided by the Manipur Panchayati Raj Act, 1944 and Manipur Municipalities Act, 1944 has shown 'positive outcomes'.

However there is no provision for reservation of seats for women under the Autonomous District Council Act, 1971 or under the subsequent 3rd Amendment Act, 2008.The women in the hill districts therefore have no or little representation and have no voice of their own.

They have no say in the decision making that affects their day today lives, said UTCOM.

Their (women) rights and interests are not reflected under the ADCs, asserted UTCOM.

Women representation in the ADCs will empower them and enable them to address their grievances, said UTCOM in its memorandum.

Further on the issue of representation of the persons with disabilities in the Autonomous District Council, UTCOM asserted that due to lack of representation of people with disabilities in the ADCs, local bodies and Legislative Assembly, their 'grievances have not been discussed/examined' and addressed properly.

'Merely extending/providing welfare schemes are not sufficient' to protect the rights of the disabled persons.

Their participation in the decision making process is a 'prerequisite' for full realization of their guaranteed rights, said UTCOM.

"There are about 54,110 disabled persons in the State as per census of 2011 and about 21,00 are in the hill districts.

These people have never been nominated in any ADCs till date" .

Persons with disabilities constitute a special class.

It is mandated under Section 3(4) of the Rights of Persons with Disabilities Act, 2016 that no person shall be deprived of his or her personal liberty only on the ground of disability.

The grievances they have can only be solved by their representation in the ADCs, Legislative Assembly, said UTCOM.

"Two members are nominated by the Governor of Manipur from amongst the unrepresented communities of the Autonomous District concerned under Section 4 of the Manipur (Hill Areas) District Council Act, (fifth Amendment) Bill, 2018 .

But there are no provisions for nomination of women and persons with disabilities," asserted UTCOM seeking the consideration of the Governor to effect their appeal/demand.


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