New Delhi: After Union Minister for Women and Child Development Department Maneka Gandhi made a statement on schizophrenic patients not being given jobs for justified reasons while examining the proposed Disability Bill, people with various mental health issues have taken to social media to tell the union minister that they can and are working.
Maneka Gandhi is part of a ministerial panel to examine the proposed Disability Bill and had raised objections recently saying that the bill does not lay criterion for determination of mentally disabled persons.
Gandhi talking to media persons on the sidelines of a function said, “It (bill) does not differentiate between mentally ill and mentally disabled person. But there is a difference between the two. “If a person is mentally ill like a schizophrenic, how can he be given a job. The Bill needs to be worked on further before presenting to the Cabinet”, she had said.
Countering the minister over her controversial statement, men and women diagnosed with bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, ADHD, depression, posted photos of themselves briefly describing the anguish they go through and how they also come out winning, every day. The campaign called ‘We can Work’ has pictures of people from various places holding signs, telling the minister that she was wrong.
According to the present law on disability, three per cent reservation for disabled people is mandatory in all categories of government jobs.
In response to Gandhi, Chennai-based group Equals CPSJ put up photos of people with mental health issues who held up signs that said that they had been working for several years after they had been diagnosed with a disorder.