IASbaba’s Daily Current Affairs – 10th December, 2015
General Studies 3:Welfare schemes for vulnerable sections of the population by the Centre and States and the performance of these schemes; mechanisms, laws, institutions and Bodies constituted for the protection and betterment of these vulnerable sections.
Development processes and the development industry- the role of NGOs, SHGs, various groups and associations, donors, charities, institutional and other stakeholders; Issues relating to development and management of Social Sector or Services relating to Health, Education, Human Resources.
General Studies 1:Social empowerment
Disability Law & the Invisible People
The Persons with Disabilities (Equal Opportunities, Protection of Rights and Full Participation) Act, 1995, (PWDA) completed two decades of existence and it still feels like the much needed law needs to be put in place again, ironically.
The success of any law depends upon the effectiveness with which it brings about the desired changes and uplifts that section of the society. But the majority of disabled people are undergoing issues like:
Delay in availing the entitlements envisaged
Inaccessible public places,
Non-accommodative educational institutions
Lack of employment opportunities for the disabled
UNCRPD: Defines persons with disabilities in Article 1 as being “those who have long-term physical, mental, intellectual or sensory impairments which in interaction with various barriers may hinder their full and effective participation in society on an equal basis with others.”
UN proclamation in 1981:
Subsequent declaration of Decade for Disabled and the Biwako Millenium Framework of Actions, to which India is a signatory, is binding on the member countries to protect the rights, provide equal opportunities and empower persons with disability.
Section 33 of the PWDA:
Makes it mandatory for the government to provide 3 per cent reservation to the disabled in public employment
Calls upon Central and State governments to establish special employment exchanges to facilitate easy and hassle-free placement for eligible disabled candidates.
But the implementation has been weak owing to the majority of state governments, such as Bihar, Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh, which accounts for the largest proportion of the disabled, being biased against employing educated disabled candidates.
Disabled have: 3% quota in govt. job
Reality: Add up to only 0.12%
Out of over 24 lakh employees belonging to group A, B and C, the total number of persons employed from disabled category was merely 5,014
140 disabled category people were employed in group A, where total number of such employees is around 77,000
Out of around 1.90 lakh employees of group B category, only 712 were from disabled category
Representation of disabled people in around 22.60 lakh employees of group C category was merely 4,162
Percentage of disabled employees:
Group A: 18 per cent
Group B: 37per cent
Group C:18 per cent
Hurdles in Mainstreaming
No research is undertaken to ascertain the woes of the disabled and no review of the workings of the PWDA is taken to check the tardy implementation in place
Lack of effective implementation of the employment provision
Absence of penal provision for violation of the PWDA
Lack of awareness on the part of major stakeholders: Public, Disabled and Bureaucracy
Marginalisation of women, SCs and STs in rural areas
Lack of coordination between different government services
Additional Costs act as a deterrence- Transport, support and other costs associated with work
Inflexible working environment-
Difficulties with physical access to the workplace,
Getting to and from work,
Adaptations to workplace equipment,
Inflexible working hours
Under-representation in the vocational, education and training systems,
Limited scope and variety of jobs offered
Lower possibilities for promotion
Lower paying jobs
Lower retention rates
Guardianship system: Disabled people who have a guardian will have no standing before the law as their rights will be taken over by the guardian and will be left with no decision-making abilities.
The United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, to which India is a signatory, promotes full legal capacity. Choice of autonomy should be respected and guardianship does not allow for this
Instead, the govt. should:
Create support systems at every level
Sensitise people to rights of the disabled
Make information available
Issues with the Bill:
Failed to address the need for a rights-based statute which is focused on eliminating barriers and discrimination, and recognizing equality for persons with disabilities
Fails to appreciate the articulations of the UNCRPD and instead, responded in a manner that trivialized the draft law in question
Change of the name of the Bill from ‘Rights of Persons with Disabilities Bill’ to ‘Rights of Persons with Different Abilities or Special Abilities Bill’, brought discomfort to the community.
What’s in a name?
First, referring to people as “differently or specially abled” diminishes the actual experience of persons with disabilities. It suggests that the term “disability” should be uncomfortable and avoided, and increases the stigma against persons with disabilities by discouraging discussion about disability and what it means to be disabled.
Secondly, using the term “differently abled” or “specially abled” is not only patronizing, it reinforces the idea that there is one way to be human and that anyone who falls outside of this norm is ‘different’ or ‘special.’
All the provisions under the Bill should be made applicable to the private sector to enable the provision of education and reservation of jobs for persons with disabilities
Though the Bill has ushered in a new wave of advocacy and activism, governments at the Centre and in states need to focus on how to reach out to persons with disabilities in rural India. Sufficient financial allocation and strict monitoring of the PWDA’s implementation can empower the disabled in far-flung areas as well
Limiting the disabilities to a list shouldn’t be the way ahead and thus, a rights-based model needs to be worked out and their effective participation should be ensured in the society
There is also an urgent need to work upon:
Establishing a proper surveillance systems for national level registration and identification system
Need of systematic and organized community based rehabilitation facilities to identify and take care of persons with disability
Develop the evidence based guidelines to provide services for the effective diagnosis, care, understanding the cause, management, treatment and prevention of various types of disabilities; along with the need to evaluate these health systems at the both primary and secondary levels
Evaluation of the regulation of international and national policies and guidelines for persons with disability to ensure their correct, effective and fruitful functioning
Connecting the Dots:
Discuss the functions and workings of the Chief Commissioner for persons with disabilities
Does Mental Health Care Bill incorporate a rights-based approach? Critically evaluate
For more information on ‘Mental health Policy’ in India, refer the below link-