The Bombay High Court directed the Chief Secretary, Government of Maharashtra to ensure that training programmes and workshops are organised throughout the State to make officials of the State aware of The RPWD Act.
In 2 Public Interest Litigation (PIL) Rashtriya Apang Vikas Mahasangh vs State of Maharashtra and All India Handicapped Development Foundation vs State of Maharashtra decided together on 04.11.2019, the court opined that there is a general lack of sensitivity towards the disabled. The court stated that the rights of persons with disabilities cannot be frustrated and defeated by a lacklustre attitude.
The Court opined that effective implementation and enforcement of the RPWD Act is possible only when officials of the State and those in charge of municipal governance and civic affairs are enlightened enough regarding the rights of disabled persons.
The court further opined that programmes for the awareness of the officers of the State should be made compulsory and directed that such programmes be undertaken and organised by all major Departments of the State Government under the auspices of the Department of Social Justice, Government of Maharashtra. The court stated that these awareness programmes should be organised on a non-working day and would be a full and complete day long programme and session in which all the aspects of the RPWD Act would be duly discussed and deliberated upon. The experts in the field ought to be invited, including legal professionals to address these officers. The court further stated that it is possible that a disabled or differently abled person may not be aware of his/her rights but he/she should not be deprived of the necessary assistance and support because of lack of sensitivity of his/her colleagues and the public at large.
The Maharashtra State Legal Services Authority was also directed to render assistance in addressing the officers of the State in this awareness programme.