Why in news?
Using the two rounds of the India Human Development Survey (IHDS) data for 2005 and 2012, the analysis shows there is a link between disability, loss of employment and impoverishment in rural India.
Patterns of disability
- The prevalence of disability was 9.70% in the rural population in 2012.
- Of the disabled, more than half (51.3%) suffered from two-four disabilities.
- Persistence was also largest in this range of disabilities (about 31% remained disabled between 2005 and 2012).
- The share of those suffering from one disability was largest in the age group 31-50 years, followed by 51-60 years.
- In the case of two-four disabilities, the largest share was found among those aged 31-50, 51-60, and then, among the older group, 61-70 years.
- The share of those suffering from more than four disabilities rose from those aged 31-50 years old to 61-70 years and then declined
Patterns of Employment
- Employment in rural areas is disaggregated into categories: no employment, or less than 240 hours in the previous year (i.e., before 2012); part-time employment, or more than 240 hours; and full-time employment (at least 250 days and at least 2,000 hours).
- What is indeed striking is that among the disabled, the proportion of those not employed is just under half, and markedly lower in part-time and full-time employment.
- Instead of using a poverty cut-off, the researchers used terciles of per capita expenditure (at constant prices).
- The bottom tercile denotes extremely poor, the next middle class and the third affluent.
- As non-disabled households are a huge fraction, it is not surprising that their shares are highest in each tercile.
Thus, highly disabled are largely confined to extreme poverty. They face barriers to long-duration employment including discriminatory practices in hiring the disabled.