Indian media: Job quota for disabled people

Disabled people often face "social barriers" in getting jobs in India
Image caption Disabled people often face "social barriers" in getting jobs in India

Media in India are welcoming a "landmark" Supreme Court order that ensures equal opportunities for disabled citizens in government jobs.

The court has ordered the centre and the state governments to implement within three months an 18-year-old law that mandates 3% reservation in government jobs for disabled people.

"The court lamented that although the Persons with Disabilities (Equal Opportunities, Protection of Rights and Full Participation) Act was enacted way back in 1995, the disabled had failed to benefit from it," the Indian Express reports.

The court's decision comes after a long campaign by the National Federation of the Blind to get government jobs for disabled people.

"It is an alarming reality that disabled people are out of job not because their disability comes in the way of their functioning, rather it is social and practical barriers that prevent them from joining the workforce," The Times of India quotes the court as saying.

"After a long legal battle, the decision will bring cheer to at least 40 million people with disabilities in India," The Indian Express adds.

Meanwhile, a Google survey has found that 42% of urban Indians are undecided on who to vote for in next year's general elections, the Deccan Herald reports.

At least 94% of those who took part in the survey said they would vote in the elections for sure, the report added.

Cyclone warning

Meanwhile, environmentalists have welcomed a court order to ban the practice of immersing idols in the Ganges and Yamuna rivers in the northern state of Uttar Pradesh, reports say.

The Allahabad High Court also rejected a request from the state government that the idols are allowed to be immersed and then fished out, the Deccan Herald reports.

During Hindu festivals, such as the ongoing Navratra, a large number of idols are immersed in rivers, but they cause water pollution.

"The idols of gods and goddesses these days are made of toxic and polluting materials using plastic colours that do not easily dissolve," the paper quoted activist Shishir Bhagat as saying.

Elsewhere, a cyclone alert has been issued in the eastern state of Orissa for the next two days, reports say.

The government of the coastal state has requested the federal government to be ready with relief assistance, The Hindu reports.

In some good news for animal lovers, five countries, including India, have come together to protect one-horned rhinos and increase their population by at least 3%, The Pioneer reports.

"Bhutan, India, Indonesia, Malaysia and Nepal made the resolve in a meeting facilitated by International Union for Conservation of Nature Species Survival Commission in Bandar Lampung (in Indonesia) a couple of days ago," the paper says.

India was asked in the meeting to increase protection at wildlife parks in a bid to curb poaching that has resulted in a sharp decline in the numbers of the one-horned rhinos in the country, the paper adds.

And finally, Pakistani lawmaker Arif Yusaf has offered to preserve the ancestral home of Bollywood legend Dilip Kumar in Peshawar, The Asian Age reports.

The politician has proposed turning the house into a "protected national museum", the paper says.

The 90-year old actor, who is recovering from a mild heart attack last month, was born in Pakistan.

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