India is working on the principle of empowering the persons with disability through intervention, inclusive education, skill development, placement, and advocacy generation. Discuss.

India is working on the principle of empowering the persons with disability through intervention, inclusive education, skill development, placement, and advocacy generation.  Discuss.
  • Introduce the question by mentioning the disability scenario in India.
  • Briefly discuss various steps taken by government for the welfare of disable people.
  • Mention various challenges.
  • Finally, suggest different ways to address the issue.
Model Answer :
According to Census 2011, the percentage of differently-abled people in India is 2.21 per cent. India has one of the more progressive disability policy frameworks in the developing world as can be seen from different initiatives launched by the government.
Initiatives by the government:
Statutory and Executive provisions:
  • Statutory provisions like Mental Health Act 1987, Rehabilitation Council of India Act 1992, Persons with Disability (Equal Opportunities, Protection of Rights and Full Participation) Act 1995, and National Trust Act 1999.
  • National Policy for Person with Disabilities 2006.
  • Centre recently announced universal ID for person with disabilities. It will be valid throughout the country and will allow the persons with disability to avail benefits of schemes and reservations
In sync with International Treaties:
  • India signed the UN Convention on Rights of Persons with Disability in 2007.
  • India is a signatory to Marrakesh Treaty to facilitate Access to Published works by Visually Impaired Persons and Persons with Print Disabilities.
    • Under this treaty, India launched Accessible India Campaign (Sugam Bharat Abhiyan) and has set up Sugamya Pustakalaya, an online library for Persons with print disabilities.
Other measures:
  • Term “divyang” is being considered in place of “viklang” to change mindset. The term would help in raising self-confidence and subsequent empowerment.
  • Besides, government has made adequate provisions in education, employment, housing schemes etc. so that the differently abled people are not excluded.
Despite the measures undertaken, various challenges remain in bringing the differently abled population into mainstream, including social and physical barriers, inconsistency in disability definition across censuses, multiplicity of agencies or departments etc.
Way forward:
In order to design comprehensive social security schemes for disabled population, the first step would be to collect detailed data on them to understand the dynamics of disability, and design inclusive strategies. Comprehensive administrative arrangements, pooling of funds from various sources and delivering the benefits under professional supervision and control are important steps that need to be taken immediately. Also, there is a need to increase public awareness and understanding of disability through social marketing and campaigns.

Subjects : Yojna summary

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