Facing flak over her stand on the draft Disability Bill, Union Minister Maneka Gandhi today denied making remarks that persons with mental illness cannot be given jobs in government. Ms. Gandhi was quoted in an PTI report earlier, “It (bill) does not differentiate between mentally ill and mentally disabled person. But there is a difference between the two. If a person is mentally ill like schizophrenic, how can he be given a job?” <!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> In a series of tweets, the Women and Child Development ministry said, “During meeting with Minister of Social Justice, minister WCD stated that definition of disabilities in the Bill must be clearly (defined) as persons with Disability, Illness and Disease.””Clear definition will provide clarity to stakeholders on their entitlement under the proposed 3 percent job reservation under the Bill…Clear definition will also ensure that who qualifies for job reservation (and) is not left to interpretation by officials in govt,” it added.”Minister WCD has never commented that persons with mental illness cannot be given jobs in govt. It is clearly misinterpreted”, the ministry said. Gandhi, who is part of a ministerial panel to examine the proposed Bill, has been attacked on the social media by activists and those recovered from “mental illnes” who have joined “the #WeCanWork campaign”.While one tweet said, “I am Subbu. I am currently working. I have been living with a mental health issue for the last 15 years, My work helps me overcome it!!!” another one read,”My name is V.S. Sunder. I have multiple sclerosis and am a Math Prof. and former recipient of the Bhatnagar award.”

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‘Can schizophrenic people work?’ Maneka Gandhi claims remark was misinterpreted