ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Rural Health Care in West Bengal

Health care institutions in West Bengal are in a state of flux, with new privatisation initiatives proposed by the World Bank posing a direct contrast to still-existing not-for-profit, traditional health systems. This essay based on a field study in West Bengal's Birbhum district looks at the dichotomy that prevails in rural health care initiatives, the juxtaposition of private vs public health care systems, and probes the villagers' resistance to innovations and the enduring popularity of traditional institutions.

Disabilities Act : Small Beginnings

The several high-profile measures and statements notwithstanding, the plight of the disabled or the differently-abled in India continues to be abysmal. It is not surprising then that only now, five years after the Disabilities Act came into effect in 1996, has one state, Karnataka, decided to constitute an audit to see how accessible are the public buildings in the state. At the time that it was enacted in 1995, the Persons with Disabilities (Equal Opportunities, Protection of Rights and Full Participation) Bill was deemed one of the most comprehensive and progressive legislative acts of its kind. Yet the government tabled the legislation a full three years after India became one of the signatories to the Full Participation and Equality of People with Disabilities in the Asian and Pacific Region resolution passed during the Beijing ESCAP meeting in 1992. This meeting also proclaimed the years 1993-2002 the Asian and Pacific Decade of Disabled Persons.

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