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SC finds multiple loopholes in measures taken for Disability Sector

Published: 11th Jan, 2024


SC report exposes severe gaps in accessibility for people with disabilities at courts across India.

Current state of Disability in India

As per Census 2011, in India, around 2.68 Cr persons are ‘disabled’ ( 2.21% of the total population)

The Constitution of India ensures equality, freedom, justice and dignity of all individuals which ensures inclusive society for all, including persons with disabilities. Even after many initiative of Indian government, effects are very limited to ensure rights to disabled person.

Existing measures taken by Government:

Rights of persons with disabilities act 2016 :

  • The act, increased number of include disabilities from 7 to 21
  • Includes provision for reservation in higher education and government jobs, free education for children between 6 to 18 years.

The National Trust for the Welfare of Persons with Autism, Cerebral Palsy, Mental Retardation and Multiple Disabilities Act, 1999:

To enable and empower persons with disability to live as independently and as fully as possible within and as close to the community to which they belong.

Mental Healthcare Act 2017: it provides the rights of mentally challenged during delivery of mental healthcare and services.

The Rehabilitation Council of India Act, 1992:

The Council act regulates and monitors the training of rehabilitation professionals and personnel and promotes research in rehabilitation and special education.

National Action Plan for Skill development: It  aims to cover 2.5 million persons with disabilities by the year 2022 through various stakeholders.

Related Schemes:

  • Scheme for Implementation of Persons with Disabilities act (SIPDA):
    • To provide financial assistance to the states for implementation of act.
  • RashtriyaVayoshriYojana:
    • It ensures Physical Aids and Assisted-living Devices for Senior citizens belonging to BPL category.
  • Accessible India Campaign:
    • To help make buildings and other infrastructure disabled friendly.
  • SugamyaPustakalaya: Online library for persons with disabilities.
  • Assistance to Disabled Persons for Purchase/Fitting of Aids and Appliances (ADIP) Scheme: it ensures distribution of aids and assistive devices.
  • Economical measure: creation of National fund for Person with disabilities.
  • Other Measures:
    • Corporate Social responsibility: Deendayal Disabled Rehabilitation Scheme: Promote Voluntary Action by releasing grant-in aid to NGOs.

Existing loopholes

  • Definition of Disability in India: The definition of disability which is approved in India is ambiguous and problematic.
  • Gender Aspect: Biologically, it is true that disability affects all irrespective of one’s gender identity. However, it is important to see that the socio-cultural aspects and the repercussions associated with disability are affected by gender concerns
  • Caste issues and disability: The 2011 census states that disability is higher among the scheduled castes in all age groups.
  • Urban-rural divide: The 2011 census states that the population of disabled is higher in rural areas than that of the urban areas.

Way Forward:

  • Preventive programs

All children health related screening at a young age. (Kerala as a role model)

  • Disabled adults need to be empowered with employable skills.

The private sector needs to be encouraged to employ them.

  • Safety measures

 IT includes road safety, safety in residential areas, public transport system etc, should be taken up.

  • Institutional monitoring mechanisms and accountability of public funds.

Verifying, please be patient.

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