The winter session of Parliament, which began on 16 November and ended on 16 December in 2016, failed to achieve much in terms of usual business, except perhaps the passage of the historic Rights of Persons with Disabilities Bill, 2016.
The Bill has revived many debates, including the one on the need to create inclusive infrastructure to facilitate greater independence among the differently-abled. One of the key players in this debate is the corporate sector which has engaged with the issue in a limited way so far—from token reservations for internal employment to working with differently-abled persons under the ambit of corporate social responsibility (CSR). The Bill is expected to increase corporate support for and engagement with the differently-abled. As Sugandhi Baliga, lead of the health portfolio at Tata Trusts, says, “This is an opportune time for more people to come forward and support creation of an inclusive environment.”