Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : September 4th 2014 Contents A9
Thursday, September 4, 2014 www.guardian.co.tt Guardian
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Almost six years after discussions began on a
national registry for people with disabilities, the
Ministry of the People held a stakeholder consul-
tation yesterday to formulate policies for disabled
The consultation on a proposed national registry
took place at the Hyatt Regency, Port-of-Spain.
It will be a nationwide record of people with dis-
abilities confidentially kept by the Government for
the purpose of planning and access to social serv-
Arnold Ramjitsingh, who made a presentation for
the ministry s Disability Affairs Unit, said a registry
would have a number of effects, including resource
"It will ensure that the Ministry of the People is
allocated enough for programmes for the people with
disabilities more precisely. It will lead to improved
Participants listen to presentations during the Ministry of the People's consultation on a registry for people
with disabilities at the Hyatt Regency yesterday. PHOTO: KRISTIAN DE SILVA
and better monitoring of services," he added.
Ramjitsingh said the registry could either be manda-
tory or voluntary but added that legislation making
it mandatory for citizens with disabilities to register
would lead to more accurate information and records
and better delivery of services.
"The system could be that people with disabilities
would need to register in order to access grants and
services," he said.
Acting permanent secretary at the Ministry of the
People Angela Edwards said at present there was no
mechanism to gather information on disabilities.
"This will allow for greater precision in targeting,
improved allocation of resources, an elevated standard
of living and effective disaster management for citizens
with disabilities," said Edwards.
She said several countries, including Guyana and
Jamaica, had already adopted national registries
through legislation as well as on a voluntary basis.
Bhawani Persad, president of the Consortium of
Disability Organisations, said the registry was long
He said in order for it to be effective, the ministry
needed to establish the most accurate definition of
people with disabilities.
"This would determine what qualifies as a disability
because there is no proper definition," he added.
He said benefits had been abused by people who
didn t really need them and as a result some of those
who did were being denied.
Unless Prime Minister Kamla Per-
sad-Bissessar says a review of the
Debe to Mon Desir section of the
Solomon Hochoy Highway exten-
sion will begin, environmentalist Dr
Wayne Kublalsingh will begin a sec-
ond hunger strike in the next 14 days.
He said that yesterday during a
media conference outside the Office
of the Prime Minister, St Clair, where
he has been stationed for most of the
last 180 days.
While Kublalsingh said other res-
idents would fast while he was on
hunger strike, one resident, Fazila Ali,
said she and others did not support
"We support everything else but
not another hunger strike," Ali said.
"It is time for us to move past that.
Other residents feel the same way."
Kublalsingh admitted that family
members were also completely against
his decision and had begged him not
to go through with it.
"They believe that the Government
will watch me die and do nothing
about it and then drink champagne
over my body," Kublalsingh said.
He said he did not believe that was
"In a sense it is a personal crusade.
The objective is simple. This is a strike
fundamentally against corruption,"
Kublalsingh said the Government
could not steal people s heritage and
resources without going through the
"The failure of process has always
led to corruption. This is no longer
about a highway, it is about Govern-
ment failing to be accountable.
"You want people s homes?
Account for it. You want the lagoon?
Account for it. There is no traffic
between Debe and Mon Desir."
Kublalsingh said he had written the
Prime Minister about ten times since
2012 when the Armstrong report was
released, recommending an independ-
ent review and feasibility study on
He said the Government had com-
pletely ignored him.
Kublalsingh yesterday delivered a
letter to Persad-Bissessar s office
telling her the hunger strike would
begin in 14 days and would stop once
she agreed to keep her promise to put
on hold and review the Debe to Mon
Kublalsingh warns of
second hunger strike
Dr Wayne Kublalsingh
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