UN Declaration on the Rights of Disabled Persons (1975): “Any person unable to ensure by himself or herself, wholly or partly the necessities of a normal individual and or social life as a result of a deficiency either congenital or not in his/her physical or mental abilities” could be described as disabled.
Disabled people are more likely to live in poverty, more likely to be unemployed, more likely to face discrimination in the workplace. These barriers are social, not personal, and cannot be “overcome” through sheer force of will.
Persons with disabilities face several forms of discrimination, such as:
• They have reduced access to education, employment and other socio-economic opportunities.
• They are faced with stigma and discrimination from the society where they live.
• They may find it hard to socialize with members of the society which can lead to depression as well as self-pity.
• Disabled people are often considered weak, worthless and in some cases subhuman by their societies.
Accessible India Campaign (Sugamya Bharat Abhiyan)
Achieving universal accessibility that will enable persons with disabilities to gain access for equal opportunity and live independently and participate fully in all aspects of life in an inclusive society. The campaign targets at enhancing the accessibility of built environment, transport system and Information & communication eco-system.
“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.
Deendayal Disabled Rehabilitation Scheme
The objectives of the scheme are:
• To create an enabling environment to ensure equal opportunities, equity, social justice and empowerment of persons with disabilities.
• To encourage voluntary action for ensuring effective implementation of the People with Disabilities (Equal Opportunities and Protection of Rights) Act of 1995.
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.
• The Preamble, Article 14, Article 21 and DPSP provide right to equality, justice and dignity of all individuals leading to an inclusive development which also includes the Disabled Persons.
Legislations Enacted for Disabled Persons
• The Indian Lunacy Act 1912
• The Lepers Act, 1899
• Rights of Persons with Disabilities Act 2016
• National Trust for Welfare of Persons with Autism, Cerebral Palsy, Mental Retardation and Multiple Disabilities Act 1999
• The Mental Healthcare Act 2017
• United Nations Convention on Rights of Persons with Disabilities and its Optional Protocol
Institutions and Bodies for the betterment of disabled persons
Department of Empowerment of Persons with Disabilities (Divyangjan)
In order to give focused attention to Policy issues and meaningful thrust to the activities aimed at welfare and empowerment of the Persons with Disabilities, a separate Department of Disability Affairs was carved out of the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment. The Department was renamed as Department of Empowerment of Persons with Disabilities (Divyangjan). The Department acts as a Nodal Agency for matters pertaining to disability and Persons with Disabilities.
The Disha scheme aims at setting up Disha Centres for early intervention for Person with Disability (PwD) in 0-10 years of age covered under the National Trust Act, through therapies, trainings and providing support to family members.
National Handicapped Finance and Development Corporation (NHFDC)
The NHFDC has been set up as a “not for profit” company by the Ministry of Social Justice & Empowerment. It is wholly owned by Government of India. It functions as an Apex institution for channelising the funds to persons with disabilities through the State Channelising Agencies (SCAs) nominated by the State Government(s).
Rehabilitation Council of India
The Rehabilitation Council of India is a statutory body set up under the Rehabilitation Council of India Act, 1992. The Council is responsible for regulating the training policies and programmes for various categories of professionals in the area of rehabilitation and special education.