[Reader-list] Inviting Inputs for GOI's Equal Opportunities Commission

Chandni Parekh chandni.parekh at gmail.com
Thu Sep 3 16:16:06 IST 2009


Excerpts from Durgesh Kasbekar's mail:

This refers to the ongoing effort of the Government of India in constituting
an Equal Opportunities Commission (EOC) for the country. A couple of weeks
ago, the Minority Affairs Minister, Mr Salman Khurshid said that the EOC
will be tabled in the coming Parliament session.

As you are well aware, discrimination is extremely endemic, rampant and
severe when it comes to

a) Women
b) Physical Handicaps and disabilities
c) Age
d) Sexual orientation viz Homosexuals, lesbians and bi-sexuals
e) Those with HIV infections, AIDS and other health related issues.

All the above sections of Indian society should be accorded *equal
protection* through the EOC legislation.

I would sincerely request you to call upon NGOs and civil society to
intervene and ensure that the drafting of the EOC bill for parliamentary
approval *ensures the inclusivity of all the sections of the society and
equal weightage is given to all and no one is left out.* Once the protection
comes in print and in a written form, it opens an avenue for thousands
belonging to the vulnerable sections of the society, years down the line to
assert their rights

Finally, I would like to point out that in the western world, it is mostly
women who head the EOC bodies(commissions or ministries) as the most severe
forms of discrimination manifest through gender. It is all prevading. It is
necessary that the EOC in India is headed by a woman and/or women should
have a formidable presence on such a national body.

If you know NGOs which work towards addressing rights of women, AIDS
patients, HIV infected and others, please forward the contents of this
e-mail to them as well.

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