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December 4, 2006

March marks World Disability Day

From: Hindu - Chennai,India - Dec 4, 2006

New Delhi

Staff Reporter

NEW DELHI: A large number of disabled people took part in the "Walk to Freedom" organised by the National Centre For Promotion of Employment For Disabled People (NCPEDP) here at India Gate to celebrate World Disability Day on Sunday.

Later in the afternoon, the National Association of the Deaf organised a rally demanding implementation of their demands.

Represented by about 25 non-government organisations from Delhi and the neighbouring States, the disabled people participated in the march flagged off by Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit. "It was like Holi, Diwali and Christmas all combined together. The participants also gave cultural performances," said NCPEDP executive director Javed Abidi.

Meanwhile, activists of Rashtriya Vikalang Party who were staging a demonstration near India Gate to express their anguish over non-implementation of their demands, tried to block traffic on "C" Hexagon. The police had to use force to remove the protesters. "A delegation of the protesters was later allowed to visit the Chief Minister's residence to submit a memorandum," said a police officer.

Around 3 p.m., the National Association of the Deaf took out a rally in support of their demands for recognising Indian Sign Language as a scheduled language. "Their demand is that Maniram Sharma who topped the list of hearing-impaired candidates in the Civil Services Exams should be placed in the administrative service as he is eligible for the post," said Mr. Abidi, adding that Manoj Sadasivan, a hearing-impaired who had qualified the exam in 2000 but was denied placement, should also be reinstated with seniority and adequate compensation.

As the protesters marched towards Rashtrapati Bhavan, the police stopped them on Rajpath.

They sat on a dharna on Rajpath demanding that some Minister come forward and listen to their grievances.

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