Well, let's talk about it!
Happy Pride Month!
Well, this week we dive into the concept of Inclusion. Term inclusion has had a journey of its own, it came in focus post the phases of segregation and integration! Inclusion stands exclusive as it doesn't expect an individual to adapt but rather expects society to change its ways by breaking stereotypes and norms. It argues for a system that can cater for the needs of every individual. Interesting right?
Let’s see how well we are doing with it, at present on-ground.
LGBTQ and Inclusion
This Pride month let’s talk about the rights and debates in India for LGBTQ and how well are we as a society being inclusive?
6th September 2018 was a momentous day for the LGBT community and us as a society. Supreme Court passed a landmark judgment, scrapping Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code and decriminalised homosexuality.
Well, this did not happen in an instant. This battle started with the case of Naz foundation vs NCT of Delhi (2001) followed by Suresh Kumar vs Naz Foundation(2013). Both cases brought the court to realise that Article 377 imposes unreasonable restrictions over two adults making their own personal choices, these restrictions were also noted as a violation of fundamental rights under the Indian Constitution.
Well, the twist is that the Supreme court in the next hearing overturned the judgement by re-criminalising homosexuality. After rounds of discussions and debates in the court and parliament, the Transgender Persons (Protection of Rights) Bill, 2019 was passed and was not taken well by the people of India due to its discriminatory measures. One such measure is that they cannot determine their sexual orientation as pronounced in the NALSA judgement, which is worrisome.
We need to talk about this because:
In the Times Jobs survey 2018, 57% of the LGBTQ persons responded negatively to the statement that companies openly recruited LGBTQ+ and candidates with disabilities. More than 55% said they still experienced bias at the workplace, including over gender, ethnicity and sexual orientation.
In 1985 the FDA stopped all men who were engaging in same-sex intercourse from donating blood. However, the rules changed in April 2021 but they were turned away from the blood banks. In India members of the LGBTQ community are not permitted to donate blood and even during the pandemic, they could not donate plasma.
(Sources: KFF, NBCNews, Indian Express)
Inclusion and Disability
Persons with Disabilities constitute 15% of the world’s population and almost 190 million have faced some or other form of disabilities, mostly in low-income countries.
The pandemic situation has aggravated difficulties in practising basic hygiene, posed barriers to access healthcare, and not to forget challenges posed by communities and societies in general.
A report titled 'An inclusive digital economy for people with disabilities' by ILO highlighted three important points for building an all-inclusive digital labour market for Persons with Disabilities:
Fostering digital skills
Promoting digital employment
The report mentions the obstacles persons with disabilities face which accessing digital resources and how technology comes up as a challenge (where it should be a boon). The report suggests that reskilling and upskilling can help us in creating a more inclusive work environment.
One such institution that has been trying to create inclusion by upskilling and reskilling with technology has been Xavier’s Resource Centre for Visually Challenged, Mumbai.
You can listen to our interview with the institute’s director on our social media platforms.
(Source: Forbes, Business Insider)
Increasing vulnerability and greater challenges
The National Commission for the Protection of Child Rights recently informed the Supreme Court that a total of 9300 children have been abandoned out of which 1,742 children were orphaned, 140 abandoned and 7,464 children have lost one parent due to the Covid-19pandemic since March 2020.
The commission also told the court that the children are at a high risk of being pushed into trafficking along with issuing an advisory to Chief Secretaries of all States/UTs.
What actions did the court take?
The court has ordered the states to address the basic needs of the children. The child rights body has received complaints of government authorities illegally transferring the details of children to private entities and NGOs.
Any legal remedy till now?
On May 29, the Centre announced a financial assistance scheme for the affected children, under which children will get a monthly stipend once they turn 18 from the whole of Rs 10 lakh to meet personal expenses and higher education. Once they turn 23 years old, the government will give them the entire Rs 10 lakh.
(Sources: Indian Express, Scroll)
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