Using the Section 36 Procedure
24. Follow up monthly to monitor Section 36 applications
One of the limitations of the Persons with Disabilities Rights and Protection Act, 2013 (DRPA) and its Rules is that they do not specify a deadline for district committees to resolve Section 36 applications. Especially in districts where committees are not accustomed to meeting four times a year, it is possible for months to go by without the committee making significant progress. Moreover, committees that lack experience with Section 36 applications might be hesitant to exercise their broad powers if they feel they are breaking new ground.
After assisting a Section 36 applicant to make an initial filing, DPOs should plan to follow up either by phone or in person with the Deputy Director (DD) of the District Social Services Office, who acts as the district committee secretary. The experience of USAID’s EPD program suggests that DPOs should plan to follow up at least once per month with the DD in order to ensure that the committee resolves a complaint swiftly. Because the DRPA does not require district committees to resolve complaints within a specific timeframe, committee members will face few consequences for not investigating, holding a hearing, or issuing a decision on a Section 36 application if DPOs do not hold them accountable by following up regularly.
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