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Government Giving More Dignity and Opportunities to Disabled Persons

Date: December 03, 2012
Domain:Economy & Finance
Persona: Citizen; Government

GIS - Dec 03, 2012: Thirty disabled graduates will be recruited amongst the next batch of the Service to Mauritius Programme (SMP). This assurance was given by the Vice-Prime Minister and Minister of Finance, M. Xavier-Luc Duval, during a meeting with graduates with disabilities at the Domaine Les Pailles, today, in the context of the International Day of Persons with Disabilities. The function was also attended by the Minister of Social Security, National Solidarity and Reform Institutions, Mrs. Sheila Bappoo.

In his address, Minister Duval said that in line with the objectives of Budget 2013, the SMP will be significantly revamped. It will now comprise two phases with a view to absorbing a significant number of graduates with disabilities and facilitating the redeployment of skills from statutory bodies and public sector organisations to Ministries and Departments. “The advert is to be published in the next few days, and I hope there will be plenty of applicants. Currently there are not enough disabled persons who find employment in the public sector. Let us hope that the new legislation will change that”, M. Duval remarked.

Quota for Disabled Graduates

The main objectives of the SMP are to attract the best and brightest young minds to spend some time in and contribute to the betterment of the public service, to attract resources for a well-defined task to deal with the shortage of skills where no established post is filled, and to provide an opportunity to young graduates to get work experience. Young graduates recruited under the SMP normally work for a period of two years with the possibility of renewal for one more year. The Vice-Prime Minister and Minister of Finance also mentioned the Youth Employment Scheme under which the employment of young persons in private enterprises is subsidised at 50% by government.

On her part, the Minister of Social Security, National Solidarity and Reform Institutions, Mrs. Bappoo recalled that the theme for this year is Removing barriers to create an inclusive and accessible society for all. She emphasised the need for everyone to be on board and to enable disabled persons to have the necessary means to be able to live a decent life. “We want a more inclusive society, with due respect and dignity given to the disabled. This is why I say that the answer to social exclusion is education”, she stated. Mrs. Sheila Bappoo also enumerated recent measures in favour of handicapped persons, such as duty-free facilities for the purchase of vehicles for the disabled. “Such facility has also been extended to parents of children with high support needs”, she said.

Employers to be more considerate

The Training and Employment of Disabled Persons Board Act 2012 (Amended) provides that an organisation having more than 35 employees should employ at least 3% disabled persons, that employers should have their names registered in the Register of Employers kept b the Board, that a Register of persons with disabilities willing and able to work should be kept and that a Hearing Committee be set up to ensure that the legal employment requirements are met by employers.

Several other activities have been earmarked by the Ministry of Social Security, National Solidarity and Reform Institutions, to commemorate the International Day of Persons with Disabilities. Earlier today, Minister Bappoo was at the CEDEM quarters in Floréal. She congratulated this non-governmental organisation for its commendable work done for children, especially those with a handicap. She stressed upon the need to change people’s mentality and attitude towards the disabled. “We should have a positive stance towards people with disabilities. They should be treated equally and should enjoy their Human Rights in all dignity”, Mrs. Bappoo said.

Tomorrow, a cultural programme by artists with disabilities will be held at the Auditorium Octave Wiehe in Reduit. On 14 December, the ministry will proceed to the launching of the Yogesh Patroo Award in memory of late Mr Yogesh Patroo, a talented artist with muscular dystrophy, at the James Burty David Centre of Pointe aux Sables.​

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