AMN / NEW DELHI
India’s most prominent Disability rights activist Javed Abidi passed away today after brief illness. He was 53. He passed away around 1.30 p.m, a friend of Abidi said, adding that he had been ailing for the past few days.
“Javed was having a breathing problem for past a few weeks due to smog and bad weather. He got a chest infection four-five days back,” she said.
Abidi was the Director of the National Centre for Promotion of Employment for Disabled People (NCPEDP).
It is a is a cross-disability, non-profit organization, working as an interface between the Government, Industry, International Agencies, and the Voluntary Sector towards empowerment of persons with disabilities.
Javed successfully led several path breaking advocacy initiatives in India, including the drafting and enactment of the Disability Act of 1995, inclusion of disability as a separate category in the Census, India’s ratification of CRPD in 2007, and setting up of a separate Department of Disability Affairs. Most recently, he has led the movement towards India’s new disability rights law – the Persons with Disabilities Act 2016.
He was instrumental in setting up of National Centre for Promotion of Employment for Disabled People (NCPEDP) in 1996 and has been its Director since 1997.
He is also the Global Chair of Disabled Peoples’ International, a position he has been re-elected to for the second time. In this capacity, he led and galvanised the voices of people with disabilities from the Global South.
Javed strongly believes that empowerment of persons with disabilities is connected to education, which in turn hinges on accessibility. And all three are not possible without enabling laws and policies.