President Pratibha Devisingh Patil on Friday conferred the National Awards for Empowerment of Persons with Disabilities on specially-abled persons here on World Disability Day.
Speaking at the event, Patil said the government has set up a committee to meet the needs of persons with disabilities and help them learn skills, which would help specially-abled persons get jobs.
"I am informed that the government has set up a committee comprising disability activists, experts, state governments and other stake to draft a new legislation to replace the existing Persons with Disabilities Act of 1995 in line with the UN Convention," said Patil.
"The requirements and the concerns of the disabled should be fully reflected, and I hope that the committee will come up with a satisfactory and practical draft of the new legislation before long. The basic objective of the policies should be to make them self-reliant," she added.
Praising the hard work of specially-abled persons, Patil said they have overcome various obstacles in life with sheer determination, and society should support them and treat them as equals.
"The full and effective participation of a person with disability in society on an equal basis with others can be helped by the behavioural attitudes that they encounter when they interact in society. We must treat them with dignity and full respect," said Patil.
"The family, community and society in general, have an important role to play in ensuring socio-psychological and emotional integration of persons with disabilities," she added.
Patil also laid emphasis on the education of the specially-abled children, which would make them strong enough to face the world.