(Sansad TV: Perspective)
Dec 3: Enable The Disabled – https://youtu.be/_6QBsqNEWXo
- GS-2: Government schemes and policies
- GS-3: Inclusive growth and issues arising from it.
Enable The Disabled
Context: The world population is over 7 billion – and more than one billion people (or around 15% of the world’s population) live with some or the other form of disability – 80% of them in developing countries.
- To achieve the Sustainable Development Goals 2030, the world has to build an inclusive and just society for everyone, leaving no one behind.
- The world marked the International Day of Persons with Disabilities, on the 3rd of December – the day that aims to promote the rights and well-being of persons with disabilities in all spheres of society and development, and to increase awareness about the situation of persons with disabilities in every aspect of political, social, economic and cultural life.
- The United Nations Convention on the rights of persons with disability tells us that persons with disabilities include those who have long-term physical, mental, intellectual or sensory impairments which in interaction with various barriers may hinder their full participation in society on an equal basis with others.
- The Rights of persons with Disability Act of India, 2016, also clarifies that disability includes people with mental illness, epilepsy, intellectual impairment and other disabilities which are not evident to a casual observer.
Disability can be seen through various perspectives-
- It can be social, which means people are disabled by the barriers in society rather than by their own impairment or differences. For example, not having accessible toilets in buildings, assumptions that disabled people cannot do certain things.
- It can be medical, where medically a person lacks in something as compared to a healthy individual. It categorizes disability into physical and mental.
- It can also be seen as enhancement of one particular sense in a person and lack of another. It is often seen in people disabled from birth, where lack of one sense is compensated by very powerful another sense, like a blind person has a very powerful sense of hearing.
- It also varies due to attitude of the person. Certain people because of their will power and positive attitudes have converted their disability into an opportunity. For example, Stephen Hawking despite being suffering from ALS turned out to be a great scientist and Deepa Malik worked on her strengths to win a medal in Paralympics.
- It also changes over time. What used to be a disability in the past, might be cured or rectified through a simple procedure now.
Measures taken by government to create a conducive ecosystem for the disabled community-
- Legal measures:
- Rights of persons with disabilities act- Increased number of disabilities from 7 to 21, reservation in higher education and government jobs, free education for children between 6 to 18 years.
- Rashtriya Vayoshri Yojana– For providing Physical Aids and Assisted-living Devices for Senior citizens belonging to BPL category
- Scheme for Implementation of Persons with Disabilities act (SIPDA)- To provide financial assistance to the states for implementation of act
- Institutional measures:
- Dedicate department- A separate Department for Empowerment of Persons with Disabilities was carved out of the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment
- Accessible India Campaign- To help make buildings and other infrastructure disabled friendly.
- Sugamya Pustakalya- Online library for persons with disabilities.
- Assistance to Disabled Persons for Purchase/Fitting of Aids and Appliances (ADIP) Scheme- provides for distribution of aids and assistive devices
- Establishment of National fund for Person with disabilities.
- Unique Disability ID (UDID): Ensures complete digitization of certification of disability from 01.06.2021, besides providing a viable mechanism for cross-checking genuineness of the certificate to achieve pan-India validity, and simplifying the process for the benefit of Divyangjan.
- Educational measures:
- Scholarships- Various scholarship schemes have been introduced for disabled students at different educational levels.
- Reservation- 5% reservation is provided to disabled in higher education.
- Social measures:
- Deendayal Disabled Rehabilitation Scheme- Promote Voluntary Action by releasing grant-in aid to NGOs.
- Corporate Social responsibility- For enabling and empowering disabled persons.
- Research- Setting up of Indian Sign language research and training center to benefit persons with hearing disabilities.
Launching schemes is not enough, we need to ensure that the schemes are implemented in their true spirit, and the society must be made aware so as to remove the social barriers present and convert disability into an opportunity.
UN’s guidelines on access to social justice for people with disabilities
Can you answer the following questions?
- Discuss the efforts and opportunities the world is providing to shape an inclusive future for persons with disabilities.
- What are the challenges and barriers that persons with disabilities face? Enumerate the accelerated steps taken by India to reduce inequalities.
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