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Accessible India Campaign

Context:

The Central Advisory Board (CAB) on Disability, which is mandated to meet every six months under the Rights of Persons with Disabilities Act, 2016, has not been reconstituted since the previous Board’s three-year term ended in November 2020

Relevance:

GS II- Welfare Schemes

Dimensions of the Article:

  1. About Accessible India Campaign
  2. About the Rights of Persons with Disabilities Act, 2016
  3. Other Schemes in India regarding Disabled people

About Accessible India Campaign

  • On the International Day of Persons with Disabilities, December 3rd, 2015, India’s Prime Minister launched the initiative.
  • The Persons with Disabilities (Equal Opportunities, Protection of Rights, and Full Participation) Act of 1995 made non-discrimination in transportation and the built environment a legal requirement.
    • It should be mentioned that the PwD Act of 1995 was replaced by the Rights of Persons with Disabilities Act of 2016.
  • United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNCRPD), to which India is a signatory, under Article 9 casts obligations on the Governments for ensuring to PwDs accessibility to
    • Information,
    • Transportation,
    • Physical Environment,
    • Communication Technology
    • Accessibility to Services as well as emergency services.
Three Components of AIC
  • Built Environment Accessibility
  • Transportation System Accessibility
  • Information and Communication Eco-System Accessibility
About  Central Advisory Board (CAB) on Disability:
  • The CAB is the highest policy making body for disability issues.
  • It was the need of the hour during the COVID-19 pandemic, but the government did not reconstitute it.
  • The CAB, which has a three-year tenure, is supposed to function as the “national-level consultative and advisory body on disability matters”, according to the Act.
  • The panel is meant to “facilitate the continuous evolution of a comprehensive policy for the empowerment of persons with disabilities and the full enjoyment of rights”, the Act says.

About the Rights of Persons with Disabilities Act, 2016

  • The Rights of Persons with Disabilities Act, 2016 replaces the Persons with Disabilities (Equal Opportunities, Protection of Rights and Full Participation) Act, 1995.
  • It fulfills the obligations to the United National Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNCRPD), to which India is a signatory.

Key Changes brought in the by the 2016 act

Disability has been defined based on an evolving and dynamic concept.

  • The types of disabilities have been increased from 7 to 21.
  • The act added mental illness, autism, spectrum disorder, cerebral palsy, muscular dystrophy, chronic neurological conditions, speech and language disability, thalassemia, hemophilia, sickle cell disease, multiple disabilities including deaf blindness, acid attack victims and Parkinson’s disease which were largely ignored in earlier act.
  • It increases the quantum of reservation for people suffering from disabilities from 3% to 4% in government jobs and from 3% to 5% in higher education institutes.
  • Every child with benchmark disability between the age group of 6 and 18 years shall have the right to free education (Government funded educational institutions as well as the government recognized institutions).
  • Stress has been given to ensure accessibility in public buildings in a prescribed time frame along with Accessible India Campaign.
  • The Chief Commissioner for Persons with Disabilities and the State Commissioners will act as regulatory bodies and Grievance redressal agencies, monitoring implementation of the Act.
  • A separate National and State Fund be created to provide financial support to the persons with disabilities.
  • The Government has been authorized to notify any other category of specified disability.

Other Schemes in India regarding Disabled people

  1. ADIP Scheme: The main objective of the Assistance to Disabled persons for purchasing / fitting of aids / appliances (ADIP) scheme is to assist the needy disabled persons in procuring durable, sophisticated and scientifically manufactured, modern, standard aids and appliances that can promote their physical, social and psychological rehabilitation, by reducing the effects of disabilities and enhance their economic potential. The aids and appliances supplied under the Scheme shall conform to BIS specifications to the extent possible. The scheme is implemented through implementing agencies such as the NGOs, National Institutes under this Ministry and ALIMCO (a PSU).
  2. Sugamya Pustakalaya: “Sugamaya Pustakalaya” is an online platform that makes accessible content available to print-disabled people. The library houses publications across diverse subjects and languages and multiple accessible formats.
  3. Deendayal Disabled Rehabilitation Scheme: The Deendayal Disabled Rehabilitation Scheme is aimed to create an enabling environment to ensure equal opportunities, equity, social justice and empowerment of persons with disabilities. Its objective is also to encourage voluntary action for ensuring effective implementation of the People with Disabilities (Equal Opportunities and Protection of Rights) Act of 1995.
  4. National Awards for Empowerment of Persons with Disabilities: In order to recognise dedicated efforts of persons and institutions involved in the process of empowerment of disabled and encourage others to strive to achieve excellence in this field, the National Awards for Empowerment of Persons with Disabilities are being awarded every year.

-Source: The Hindu


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