Thousands of disabled persons can now look to an employment opportunity with the country's largest government employer -- Indian Railways -- after it submitted an affidavit in the Delhi high court in this regard.
The Railways have submitted a 'tentative time frame for finalising special recruitment drive' to fill up backlog vacancies of physically handicapped persons" in group C and D posts along with the top most group A.
The special recruitment drive, to be completed in 19 months, would initially fill up 4,254 backlog vacancies for disabled persons as per requirements of the Persons with Disabilities Act 1995.
The Railways, in its affidavit filed on May 26, has also said that it will fill up the backlog vacancies in the non-technical posts of Indian Railway Personnel Service and Indian Railway Accounts Service with 50 per cent seats being filled up this year and the rest in the next year.
The case date backs to 2005 when a social organisation, All India Confederation of the Blind, filed a PIL in Delhi high court requesting it to direct the Railways to comply with the disabilities Act and recruit physically challenged persons according to stipulated norms of keeping three per cent seats for them.
"With this undertaking of the Railways, thousands of disabled people in the country can now look forward for a respectable livelihood," counsel for the petitioners Rajan Mani told PTI.
The court will keep a close check on the 19-month period and it would again revisit the recruitment process in September this year, he said.
The backlog pertains to a block period of 1996-October 2008 during which there was no hiring in this category at all.
Disabled people were recruited prior to this but under this Act, the chances of them getting a Railways job are more.
Under the three per cent quota identified for the disabled each one per cent is reserved for the orthopaedically handicapped, hearing impaired and the blind, Mani said.
The backlog vacancies will only be filled from people eligible in this criteria up to three years of the start of the recruitment and cannot be filled by any other category, the counsel added.