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Thousands of India's disabled protest to demand equal rights

Published on Feb 3, 2014 7:25 PM

NEW DELHI (AFP) - Thousands of disabled people protested in the Indian capital on Monday, demanding Parliament pass long-awaited legislation that gives them equal rights, including to education and employment.

Thousands with intellectual or physical impairments gathered to support the Bill drafted for the country's 40 to 90 million disabled people, who have long been among the most excluded and stigmatised in society.

"We have been waiting since independence for this, some of us even longer," National Association of the Deaf president Zorin Singha said of the country's estimated 18 million deaf people.

"This Bill will change everything for us," he told AFP, sitting in front of India Gate among a crowd of supporters waving placards that read: "We want our rights, not your charity."

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