Rajya Sabha passes bill for Welfare of Persons with Autism & other disabilities amid protests

RSTV Bureau

Rajya Sabha Chairman Venkaiah Naidu

The Rajya Sabha was adjourned for the day Wednesday following noisy protests by AIADMK and YSR Congress members demanding protection of Cauvery Delta farmers and special status for Andhra Pradesh.

Amid the protests which continued after the House reconvened at 2 PM post two adjournments, the Upper House passed the National Trust for Welfare of Persons with Autism, Cerebral Palsy, Mental Retardation and Multiple Disabilities (Amendment) Bill, 2018 after a brief discussion.

The proposed amendments entail fixing the term of the Chairperson of the National Trust for Welfare of Persons with Autism and other Disabilities.

Moving the bill for consideration and passage, Social Justice and Empowerment Minister Thaawarchand Gehlot said a Chairperson could not be appointed even after several attempts since 2012 as a suitable candidate meeting the stringent selection criteria could not be found.

Gehlot said the amendments will ease the procedure related to appointment of a Chairperson.

“The Chairperson will have a three-year term now and the selection process for his successor will be initiated six months before his tenure ends and completed before he retires,” said the minister.
With the protests continuing, Chairman M Venkaiah Naidu said let there be an agreement that action will be taken against those who come to the Well.

“Anybody coming to the Well action will be taken instantly,” Naidu said.

As the protests continued, Parliamentary Affairs Minister Vijay Goel said: “This Bill is for the disabled and there is a consensus among all parties. I am requesting all parties to pass it”.

The Bill was passed in the Upper House shortly before the House adjourned for the day.

Earlier in the day, the House paid obituary reference to former US President George H W Bush who passed away on November 30.

Members also congratulated M C Mary Kom for winning gold in the Women’s World Boxing Championship.

Chairman Naidu said she has reached the pinnacle of sporting glory as she created history by winning six world gold medals.

The House also congratulated sports persons Sonia Chahal, Simranjit Kaur and Lovlina Borgohain for winning medals.

(With inputs from PTI)