[Answered] Government initiatives have been insufficient to handle the challenges faced by the disabled. Discuss and suggest some policy measures to tackle those challenges.

Introduction: Contextual introduction.

Body: Explain how Government initiatives have been insufficient to handle the challenges faced by the disabled. Also write some policy measures to tackle those challenges.

Conclusion: Write a way forward.

As per Census 2011, in India, out of the 121 Cr population, about 2.68 Cr persons are ‘disabled’ which is 2.21% of the total population. The Constitution of India ensures equality, freedom, justice and dignity of all individuals and implicitly mandates an inclusive society for all, including persons with disabilities.

Due to following reasons Government initiatives have been insufficient to handle the challenges faced by the disabled:

  • There is a lack of data on prevalence and instances of disabled in the country. Further, there is also a lack of universal definition of who constitute the disabled.
  • As there is no direct mortality associated with various types of disabilities, they remain at the bottom of the government’s priority list. Thus the treatment and prevention of disability does not demand much attention.
  • Corruption and mismanagement of funds allocated for schemes lead to poor implementation. Also, the budgetary allocation for the implementation of the welfare schemes has been less.
  • The Accessible India Campaign(AIC) lacks a strong enforcement mechanism to ensure that ambitious milestones are set and pursued to their meaningful conclusion.
  • Section 45 of theRights of Persons with Disabilities Act, 2016 states that all existing public buildings shall be made accessible within five years of the date of promulgation of such rules. But the deadline has been breached.

Policy measures to tackle these challenges:

  • Disabled adults need to be empowered with employable skills. The private sector needs to be encouraged to employ them.
  • More budgetary allocation for welfare of the disabled. There should be a disability budgeting on line of gender budget.
  • Relevant provisions of the Harmonised Guidelines and Standards for Universal Accessibility in India, 2021must be integrated into local bye-laws and state planning laws.
  • Central and state level procurement laws and policies must incorporate accessibility criteriain public procurement. Tender documents must set out applicable accessibility standards.
  • The deficiencies in the Sugamya Bharat appshould be rectified so as to enable a well-meaning intervention to realise its full potential.
  • Proper implementation of schemes should be ensured. There should be proper monitoring mechanisms and accountability of public funds.

In a country like India mainstreaming of these people is challenging issue. For achieving this task it’s necessary to change public attitudes, remove social stigma, provide barrier free environment, needs reformation in the area of policy and institutional level.

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