[Answered]What measures have been taken by the government to create a conducive environment for the disabled community? Discuss various reasons for limited impact of such initiatives.

Demand of the question

Introduction. Contextual introduction.

Body. Measures have been taken by the government for disabled community. Reasons for limited impact of the measures.

Conclusion. Way forward.

One billion people, or 15% of the world’s population, experience some form of disability, and disability prevalence is higher for developing countries. 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. Although government has taken various legal and welfare initiatives for the cause of disables, there has been a limited impact to further their rights.

Measures taken by government for the disabled community:

Legal and welfare measures Schemes and other initiatives
Rights of persons with disabilities act: The act, increased number of include disabilities from 7 to 21, made provision for 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.
Mental Healthcare Act 2017: to protect, promote and fulfill the rights of mentally challenged during delivery of mental healthcare and services. Scheme for Implementation of Persons with Disabilities act (SIPDA): To provide financial assistance to the states for implementation of act.
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. Accessible India Campaign: To help make buildings and other infrastructure disabled friendly.
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. Assistance to Disabled Persons for Purchase/Fitting of Aids and Appliances (ADIP) Scheme: provides for distribution of aids and assistive devices.
Institutional measure: A separate Department for Empowerment of Persons with Disabilities was carved out of the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment Sugamya Pustakalaya: Online library for persons with disabilities.
Financial measure: Establishment of National fund for Person with disabilities. National Action Plan for Skill development which aims to cover 2.5 million persons with disabilities by the year 2022 through various stakeholders.
Corporate Social responsibility: For enabling and empowering disabled persons. Deendayal Disabled Rehabilitation Scheme: Promote Voluntary Action by releasing grant-in aid to NGOs.
Research: Setting up of Indian Sign language research and training centre to benefit persons with hearing disabilities. Educational measures: Various scholarship schemes have been introduced for disabled students at different educational levels. 5% reservation is provided to disabled in higher education.

Why such initiatives and efforts have had limited impact?

  1. In India, the number of disabled population is large. Social stigma attached to the disabled and people’s attitudes towards them is the main cause of a limited impact.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. Corruption and mis-management of funds allocated for schemes lead to poor implementation. Also, the budgetary allocation for the implementation of the welfare schemes has been less.

Way forward:

  1. Preventive health programs need to be strengthened and all children screened at a young age. Kerala has already started an early prevention programme.
  2. People with disabilities need to be better integrated into society by overcoming stigma. There should be awareness campaigns to educate and aware people about different kinds of disability Success stories of people with disabilities can be showcased to inculcate positive attitude among people.
  3. Disabled adults need to be empowered with employable skills. The private sector needs to be encouraged to employ them.
  4. State-wise strategies on education for children with special needs need to be devised. There should be proper teacher training to address the needs of differently-abled children and facilitate their inclusion in regular schools
  5. Safety measures like road safety, safety in residential areas, public transport system etc, should be taken up. Further, it should be made legally binding to make buildings disabled-friendly
  6. More budgetary allocation for welfare of the disabled. There should be a disability budgeting on line of gender budget.
  7. Proper implementation of schemes should be ensured. There should be proper monitoring mechanisms and accountability of public funds.

Attitudinal barriers ingrained as part of India’s historical response to disability must be changed through education programs for both teachers and the general populace. These programs require financial and collaborative commitment from key national and state education stakeholders, and partnership with universities to support research-based initiatives. 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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