Wednesday, July 16, 2014

100 % FDI in Disability Sector advocated

Dear Colleagues,

In the recent budget 2014-15 announced by the Indian Finance Minister Mr. Arun Jaitely, following items relates to disability subject:

National institute of Universal Design will be set up.
A national level institute on Mental Health Rehabilitation will be set up.
Centre for Disability Sport will be set up.
15 New Braille Presses will be established.
10 existing Braille Press will be improved.
The ADIP scheme of MSJE to include contemporary equipment & assistive devices
Currency notes that facilitate access for people with visual impairment will be launched.

A California-based Pranav Desai, Indian-American activist in the disability sector has advocated (as per the below report by PTI) 100% FDI in the Disability Sector to manufacture products for entire world's population with disabilities. The Jaipur Foot has already been a great success in war torn Afghanistan and several African countries. This seems to be a good idea while there is so much of talk about FDI in retail and even in defence sectors. This will not only enhance training & job opportunities for the youth including those with disabilities but also in general will create a favourable environment in favour of an inclusive community where there is no dearth of funds on the rehabilitation, education, training and vocational opportunities for those living with disabilities.

Here is the report:

Budget 2014: India should allow 100 per cent FDI in disability sector
PTI Jul 10, 2014, 12.12PM IST

WASHINGTON: India should tap the mega economic opportunity in the disability sector by allowing 100 per cent foreign direct investment in it to manufacture products for the specially-abled population, an influential Indian-American activist has said.

"While newly-elected Indian government has promised to help specially-abled people of India, it should also look at potential untapped mega economic opportunity as well by allowing 100 per cent FDI in this sector to manufacture products for entire world's Specially abled population," California-based Pranav Desai, Indian-American activist in the disability sector told PTI.

With growing focus on human rights and United Nations push through the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, the world body estimates that there are about one billion people.

As such disabilities across the globe has become a huge market opportunity for disabled friendly, assistive technology products and services, Desai argued, adding that new Indian government needs to tap this huge market by coming out with policies that would attract global manufacturers to set up their factories in India.

"India can also produce speech therapist (all types of trainers for special education) to cater to its domestic needs as well global needs by offering degree and diploma courses by establishing colleges for Special Needs education," he said.

Desai, who was afflicted with polio at the age of four, reached to the position of vice president of a top global IT company.

He is actively engaged in promoting education and mobility by working with NGOs (Blind People Association, The Society for Physically Handicapped and VDIS for Mentally retarded).

Desai, who would be in India this month meeting leaders of the new Indian Government, on the disability issue, asserted that it time for India to catch up with the rest of the world in the disability sector.

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