Person with Disabilities

Mains Marks Booster     1st August 2023        
  • PWD are individuals with long-term impairments in physical, mental, sensory, and psychological conditions, which hinder their equal participation in society due to various barriers. 

Key facts

  • According to the 2011 Indian Census, out of a total population of 1.21 billion, approximately 2.68 crore people (2.21% of the total population) are classified as 'disabled'.
  • With impairments, there were 14.9 million males (2.41% of men) and 11.9 million women (2.01% of women). The majority of disabled people—69%, or 18 million—live in rural regions.
  • In India, 20% of people with disabilities have a mobility disorder, 19% have a vision impairment, 19% have hearing loss, and 8% have many impairments.
  • The age range 10 to 19 years has the highest prevalence of disabilities (46.2 lakh persons).
  • In India as a whole, 36% of the handicapped population is classified as "workers." Nagaland (52%) has the highest percentage, followed by Sikkim (49%) and Arunachal Pradesh (45%).. 

Schemes for Persons with Disabilities:

  • Accessible India Campaign (Sugamya Bharat Abhiyan): To make public spaces and transportation accessible for persons with disabilities.
  • Sugamya Pustakalaya: Online library for persons with print disabilities, aiming to provide accessible reading material in various formats.
  • Deendayal Disabled Rehabilitation Scheme: Aims to provide comprehensive rehabilitation services to persons with disabilities for their overall development and social integration.
  • National Awards for Empowerment of Persons with Disabilities: Recognize and honour outstanding individuals, organizations, and initiatives that have made significant contributions to the empowerment of persons with disabilities.
  • Rashtriya Vayoshri Yojana: To support elderly individuals in surmounting physical limitations associated with ageing and enabling them to lead a life of dignity and productivity.PWD
    • In order to protect and advance the rights and dignity of people with disabilities, India joined the UN Convention. 
      • It imposes a responsibility to take the necessary steps to guarantee that people with disabilities have access to other facilities and services as well as the physical environment, transportation, information, and communications.
  • India is also a signatory to the "Declaration on the Full Participation and Equality of People" with Disabilities in the Asia-Pacific Region.
    • Community Based Inclusive Development (CBID) Program: It aims to create a pool of grass-root rehabilitation workers at community level who can work alongside ASHA and Anganwadi workers to handle cross disability issues and facilitate inclusion of persons with disabilities in the society. 
    • Unique ID for Persons with Disabilities 
  • Mobile Aided Note Identifier (MANI) -Project by RBI to identify the denomination of Indian Banknotes. 
  • India signed the UN Convention on Protection and Promotion of the Rights and Dignity of Persons with Disabilities to improve accessibility in terms of physical environment, transportation and other facilities.

Constraints in implementation of welfare Programs 

  • Accurate identification becomes challenging as PWD’s hide their disability.
  • Proper and authentic data is not available.
  • Schemes for PWD’s are not implemented in true spirit.
  • Absence of institutional architecture and policy framework.

Way forward

  • Social Inclusion: There is a need to find ways to better accommodate persons with disabilities in society, such as by giving them greater educational chances, equitable employment prospects, and encouraging them to participate actively in social and political decision-making.
  • Awareness: In order to improve the integration of people with disabilities into society, stigma must be overcome. 
    • The name "Divyangjan" was created by the prime minister to refer to people with disabilities. 
    • The goal is to recognise their potential and influence how society views them. 
    • This mindset needs to be broadly embraced. People must be informed and made aware of the difficulties PwDs encounter.
  • Financial aid: The welfare of handicapped individuals should receive more funding from the budget. Budgets for individuals with disabilities should be created in accordance with budgets for women and men. 
    • It's crucial to ensure that plans are carried out properly. For the oversight and accountability of public funds, suitable procedures must exist.

The Rights of Persons with Disabilities (RPwD) Act, 2016

  • The Act supersedes the 1995 Act on Persons with Disabilities (Equal Opportunities, Protection of Rights, and Full Participation). It satisfies the requirements of the UNCRPD, to which India is a signatory. 
Key Points :
  • The definition of disability is now based on a dynamic and developing idea.
  • There are now 21 different sorts of impairments instead of the previous 7 and the Central Government will have the authority to introduce additional. 
  • For those with benchmark disabilities and those who have significant assistance requirements, additional advantages have been offered, such as reservations in higher education (not less than 5%), government positions (not less than 4%), reservations in land distribution, poverty alleviation initiatives (5% allotment), etc.
  • The establishment of broad-based Central and State Advisory Boards on Disability will act as the top decision-making bodies at the Central and State levels.
  • The Act outlines penalties for actions against people with disabilities as well as violations of the new law's rules.