A person is considered ‘handicapped’ or ‘physically challenged’ when he is not an ordinary person with all limbs. A disabled person is one who suffers from the loss or impairment of a limp or deformity in physical or mental capability whether due to nature's foul play or an unexpected unfortunate accident. Disabled persons are of two types. (i) Physically handicapped (ii) Mentally ill. The condition of disability may arise by birth or in accident. Polio, blindness, deafness, dumbness and mental illness may occur by birth or by other incidents or due to ill health. Handicappedness is measured by medical persons in various degrees while they give certificate to the handicapped person.

It is estimated that about twelve millions Indians about 1.8 per cent of Indian population have at least one disability or the other. About 10 per cent of the handicapped are having more than one type of physical disability. There is growing awareness both in the Government and society about the need to reach out to the disabled people to enable them to become self-sufficient and independent.

The Word “DISABILITY” implies
1. Inability to function normally, physically or mentally; incapacity. 2. Anything that causes disability.

As defined by the Federal Government: “inability to engage in any substantial gainful activity by reason of any medically determinable physical or mental impairment which can be expected to last or has lasted for a continuous period of not less than 12 months.”

According to the World Health Organization (WHO) rehabilitation guidelines, “impairment of an individual as it affects his or her role in life, such as an inability to work because of a health condition.”

The United Nations uses a definition of disability as: Impairment: Any loss of abnormality of psychological or anatomical structure or function. Disability: Any restriction or lack (resulting from an impairment) of ability to perform an activity in the manner or within the range considered normal for a human being. Handicap: A disadvantage for a given individual, resulting from an impairment or disability, that limits or prevents the fulfillment of a role that is normal, depending on age, sex, social and cultural factors, for that individual. Handicap is therefore a function of the relationship between disabled persons and their environment. It occurs when they encounter cultural, physical or social barriers which prevent their access to the various systems of society that are available to other citizens. Thus, handicap is the loss or limitation of opportunities to take part in the life of the community on an equal level with others.

IN INDIA According to THE PERSONS WITH DISABILITIES (Equal Opportunities, protection Of Rights And Full Participation) ACT, 1995

“PERSON WITH DISABILITY" means a person suffering from not less than forty per cent of any disability as certified by a medical authority;

“DISABILITY" means i. ii. iii. iv. v. vi. vii. blindness; low vision; leprosy-cured; hearing impairment; locomotive disability; mental retardation; mental illness;

extreme physical deformity as well as advanced age which prevents him from undertaking any gainful occupation. ii. vii. vi. “Mental illness" means any mental disorder other than mental retardation. . "person with low vision" means a person with impairment of visual functioning even after treatment or standard refractive correction but who uses or is potentially capable of using vision for the planning or execution of a task with appropriate assistive device. "locomotive disability" means disability of the bones. "Leprosy cured person" means any person who has been cured of leprosy but is suffering from a. iv. "Mental retardation" means a condition of arrested or incomplete development of mind of a person which is specially characterized by sub normality of intelligence. namely:a. iii. or b. or c. c. visual acuity not exceeding 6/60 or 20/200 in the better eye with correcting lenses. manifest deformity and paresis but having sufficient mobility in their hands and feet to enable them to engage in normal economic activity. loss of sensation in hands or feet as well as loss of sensation and paresis in the eye and eye-lid but with no manifest deformity. v. "Hearing impairment" means loss of sixty decibels or more in the better ear in the conversational range of frequencies. and the expression "leprosy cured" shall be construed accordingly. "blindness" refers to a condition where a person suffers from any of the following conditions. total absence of sight. b. joints or muscles leading to substantial restriction of the movement of the limbs or any form of cerebral palsy.i. Limitation of the field of vision subtending an angle of 20 degree or worse.

A person with proper vision only in one eye will also be treated as visually disabled. Census of India 2001 document mentioned "Defining and measuring disability is a complex issue and it is not easy to communicate these concepts during the census process. seeing. as such. (3) They cannot stand in Q along with other persons. handicapped. (2) They require medical assistance to face their challenges and to undergo major operations and treatment. were willing and forthcoming to share this information and there was an expert investigator to elicit this information.PROBLEMS FACED BY THE PHYSICALLY HANDICAPPED PERSONS: (1) Physically handicapped persons like blind & insane persons cannot go from place to place alone and they require personal assistance." Census therefore used its own version of definitions of disabilities Census of India defines five types of disabilities viz. (5) They cannot earn their livelihood due to unemployment. (4) They cannot compete with other persons to secure seats in educational institutions and employment. hearing. speech. Such persons would be treated as visually disabled. different terms such as disabled. if she/he is dumb. Speech disabled means a person will be recorded as having speech disability. different definitions of disability are introduced for various purposes and. crippled. in which only a limited amount of questioning time is possible to be spent with a household for obtaining detailed information on every individual. CURRENT ISSUES & STATUS Defining Disability In India. Seeing disability includes a person who cannot see at all (has no perception of light) or has blurred vision even with the help of spectacles will be treated as visually disabled. No single standard exists in India in order to evaluate disability. . 1995 were found to be extremely difficult to canvass even in normal circumstances assuming people had time." With regard to definitions adopted by PWD Act Census of India stated "the concepts and definitions of disabilities coupled with measuring its extent and its types contained in the PWD Act. movement. physically challenged are used inter-changeably. and mental. they have been based on various criteria. In common parlance. Where a person may have blurred vision and had no occasion to test whether her/his eyesight would improve by using spectacles.

should be considered having hearing disability. Absence of a part of a limb like a finger or a toe will not be considered as disability. she/he will be considered to having speech disability. Similarly. etc. Mentally retarded and insane persons would be treated as mentally disabled. the person will also be treated as disabled and covered under this category. absence of all the fingers or toes or a thumb will make a person disabled by movement. A person may not be able to move normally because of problems of joints like arthritis and has to invariable limp while moving. A person who lacks comprehension appropriate to her/his age will be considered as mentally disabled. . However. A person who is able to hear. If a person cannot hear through one ear but her/his other ear is functioning normally. Hearing disability includes a person who cannot hear at all (deaf). will also be considered to have movement disability. A person. will be treated as disabled. A mentally disabled person may generally depend on her/his family members for performing daily routine. who cannot move herself/himself without the aid of another person or without the aid of stick. or can hear only loud sounds will be considered as having hearing disability. using hearing aid will not be considered as disabled under this category. who lacks limbs or is unable to use the limbs normally. will be considered having movement disability. A person. Persons who stammer but whose speech is comprehensible will not be classified as disabled by speech.Similarly persons whose speech is not understood by a listener of normal comprehension and hearing. This would not mean that if a person is not able to comprehend her/his studies appropriate to her/his age and is failing to qualify her/his examination is mentally disabled. If any part of the body is deformed.. a person would be treated as disabled in movement if she/he is unable to move or lift or pick up any small article placed near her/him.

55 percent) followed by movement disabilities (27. Ten percent of total disabled are mentally disabled.76 27.87 percent).00 Source: Census of India 2001 This proportion is lower than estimates of World Health Organization and United Nations according to which around 10 percent of population in underdeveloped and developing countries are disabled. Statistics shows total number of disabled in India at 21.49 5. Classification of disabled in India shows that nearly half total disabled are having seeing disabilities (48.Types of Disabilities Census of India 2001 identified five types of disabilities as defined above.55 7.906.769 which constitute more than 2 percent of total population.33 100.87 10. . Disabled in India by types of Disabilities Types of Disabilities Number of Disabled Percentage Seeing Speech Hearing Movement Mental Total 10634881 1640868 1261722 6105477 2263821 21906769 48.

Disabilities by Residence Classification of disabled by residence shows that majority of disabled are living in the rural areas. and 75. The paradoxical situation here is concentration of organizations working for disabled in urban centers. 76. are the major reasons for this trend.24 percent with movement disabilities. . large family size.07 percent of people with hearing disabilities. 81. especially in the case of movement and mental disabilities the proportion of male is much higher as compared to females.80 percent with speech disabilities reside in rural areas.Disability in Various Dimensions Disabilities by Sex The classification of disabled in different categories by sex shows higher rate of prevalence of disabilities among males as compared to females. Lack of medical facilities. etc. concentration of medical facilities in urban localities.

4. Movement barriers can easily be removed by creating ramps in schools. Disabled people are also classified as worker and non-workers. especially rural areas. It involves not only actual work but also effective supervision and direction of work. Among different categories of disabilities. 1. Education provides opportunities for employment and advancement. Lowest literacy rate is observed among rural disabled female. especially special schools for disabled. Non-governmental organizations working for education of disabled are also located in urban centers. . Parents generally hesitate and also worried to send their disabled girls to schools. 3. Neither special teacher nor special books and other facilities are needed for them. especially for disabled. mobility in education and they can easily be incorporated in regular school.Disability and Literacy Education is very important for all. The reason for this kind of trend lies in the social mind setup. are located in urban centers. According to Census of 2001. This is due to the reason that they face only one barrier i. where education among girls is not given important especially if she is disabled.e. Literacy level is higher in urban areas as compared to rural areas because most of the educational institutions. Literacy level is low among disabled females as compared to their male counterpart. Literacy level is high among movement disabled as compared to other categories. Work may be physical or mental in nature. literacy rate is lowest among peoples with mental disabilities because of lack of sufficient educational facilities such as special schools and special teachers for mentally challenged. Work may be paid or unpaid. 2. Disability and Work Work is defined by census 2001 as participation in any economically productive activity. According to above definition any persons engaged in economic activity whether paid or unpaid is called worker.

Many are concerned. work participation rate is lowest among people with mental disabilities. Lack of education and employment opportunities for mentally disabled along with negative attitude of the employer to employ mentally disabled are reasons for this trend. the debate has moved beyond a concern about the perceived cost of maintaining dependent people with disabilities to an effort of finding effective ways to ensure that people with disabilities can participate in and contribute to society in all spheres of life. also public perception of disabled people may vary in areas. Work participation rate is low among females as compared to males and in urban areas as compared to rural areas. One reason for this is that employment opportunities in urban area are male dominated and favors the educated.Work Participation Rate Work Participation rate is percentage of workers to total population. 44. Lowest work participation rate is observed among urban disabled females. which is the main occupation in rural areas has a capacity to absorb large chunk of disabled both educated and uneducated.49 percent. 4. 1. Low education level among females is main constraint in their employment. According to Census of 2001. Among different categories of disabled. . social inclusion and citizenship. Current issues and debates surrounding disability include social and political rights. High work participation rate in rural areas are due to the fact that agriculture.81 and 29. 2.55 percent among males and females respectively. 3. In developed countries. However obstacles reside in some countries in getting full employment. Total work participation rate among disabled is 34. that the greatest need is in developing nations—where the vast bulk of the estimated 650 million people with disabilities reside. however. A great deal of work is needed to address concerns ranging from accessibility and education to self-empowerment and self-supporting employment and beyond.

sickness and disablement. .According to CRY( CHILD RIGHTS & YOU)    3% of India's children are mentally/physically challenged. within the limits of its economic capacity and development. and in other cases of undeserved want. make effective provision for securing the right to work. old age. 20 out of every 1000 rural children are mentally/physically challenged. to education and to public assistance in cases of unemployment. caste and ethnic origin. compared to 16 out of every 1000 urban children. IV. to education and to public assistance in certain cases The State shall. Mentally/physially challenged girls are at a particular risk to violence and abuse CONSTITUTIONAL PROVISIONS & GOVERNMENT POLICIES Article 15 and 16 of the Indian Constitution expressly prohibits discrimination on the basis of certain specified criteria such as sex. Disability is not included amongst the list of the prohibited criteria. Consequently legislations which discriminate on the ground of disability were not perceived as patently discriminatory and hence unconstitutional. Directive Principles of State Policy ARTICLE 41: Right to work.

Cerebral Palsy. Olatpur. Evaluation and Monitoring Bureau. and empowerment of disadvantaged and marginalised sections of society. Mental Retardation and Multiple Disabilities o Officer of the Chief Commissioner for Disabilities o Rehabilitation Council of India (RCI) o Swami Vivekanand National Institute of Rehabilitation. Media. The Minister of Social Justice and Empowerment holds cabinet rank as a member of the Council of Ministers. Disability Bureau. Ambedkar Foundation o Dr. Secunderabad (NIMH) o National Institute of Social Defence (NISD) o National Institute of Visually Handicapped (NIVH) o Swami Vivekanand National Institute of Rehabilitation Training and Research. New Delhi (formerly Institute for the Physically Handicapped (IPH)) o National Institute for Orthopaedically Handicapped.  National institutes for persons with disabilities o Ali Yavar Jung National Institute for the Hearing Handicapped. including scheduled castes and scheduled tribes (SC/ST). Backward Classes Bureau Coordination. Research. the disabled.The Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment is an Indian government ministry. who is assisted by a Minister of State D. Napoleon. The ministry has five bureaus. The current minister is Mukul Wasnik. Other Backward Classes (OBC). Training and Research (SVNIRTAR)   . and the elderly. Social Defense (SD) Bureau. Administration. It is responsible for welfare. and Project. Kanpur Other associated organizations o Chief Commissioner for Disabilities o Dr. Kolkata o National Institute of Mentally Handicapped. Mumbai (AYJNIHH) o Deen Dayal Upadhyay Institute of Physically Handicapped. Shyama Prasad Mukherjee National Institute for Orthopaedically Handicapped (formerly National Institute for the Orthopaedically Handicapped (NIOH)) o National Handicapped Finance and Development Corporation (NHFDC) o National Trust for the Welfare of Persons with Autism. Cuttack and Orissa (NIRTAR) Public sector undertakings o National Handicapped Finance and Development Corporation (NHFDC) o Artificial Limbs Manufacturing Corporation of India (ALIMCO). social justice. each headed by a Joint Secretary: Scheduled Castes Development Bureau.

educational. Besides. The scheme envisages comprehensive identification of disabled persons following which restorative. a few disabled people may also be prescribed medications and surgery of different types. Rehabilitation for the blind involves learning the sighted guide technique. Special care is provided to them through District Disability Rehabilitation Centres. These centers also encourage Non-Governmental Organizations to provide community awareness. institutes and NGO's. Those who haven't learnt to speak as yet (children below five) are given speech therapy that includes learning the sign language. Rehabilitation Council There is a rehabilitation Council set up under the Ministry of Welfare. a calliper or crutches. They get grants from the Ministry of Welfare. The rehabilitation process in all cases involves follow up treatment where the patient is rechecked at periodic intervals. Depending on their situation. Spastics Society of Northern India and the Spastics Society of Eastern India are conducting courses for the resource persons for the special education and training of persons with cerebral palsy. reading and writing the Braille language and performing household chores without sight. It prescribes syllabus for the various training programmes. recognized the training institutes and maintains rehabilitation registers. Some may be provided visual aids. Deaf and Mute people may be recommended surgery or fitted with a hearing aid or ear mould depending on their unique condition. They are taught vocational skills in fields where blindness is not a handicap like candle making and other crafts. medical. a number of voluntary organizations such as the Spastics Society of India. . People who have lost a limb due to a disease or accident receive reconstructive surgery. vocational and placement services are arranged for Them. Rehabilitation involves processes to help patients live a decent standard of life with their handicap. District Rehabilitation Centers The Ministry of Welfare started the District Rehabilitation Centre Scheme in 1983 for the disabled persons living in rural areas. the use of the white cane. They are then taught how to walk with new aid they receive and are given vocational training to help them get a job. parental counseling and vocational training services. Later on they may be provided with an artificial leg like a Jaipur foot. lip reading and other pointers.Rehabilitation Rehabilitation of people who are physically challenged is another priority of the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment. The District Centers work in co-operation with the voluntary agencies & make use of the health and other facilities available at the field level.

. every year 500 new scholarships are awarded for pursuing post matric professional and technical courses of duration more than one year. multiple disabilities and profound or severe hearing impairment. by reducing the effects of disabilities and enhance their economic potential. The aids and appliances supplied under the Scheme must be ISI. social and psychological rehabilitation.Schemes & Programmes Assistance to Disabled Persons for Purchase / Fitting of Aids and Appliances (ADIP Scheme) The main objective of the Scheme is to assist the needy disabled persons in procuring durable. 15. Students with 40% or more disability whose monthly family income does not exceed Rs.Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment. Financial assistance under the scheme is also given for computer with editing software for blind/ deaf graduate and postgraduate students pursuing professional courses and for support access software for cerebral palsied students. onwards. Scheme of National Scholarships for Persons with Disabilities Under the Scheme of National Scholarships for Persons with Disabilities. However. in respect of students with cerebral palsy.000/-are eligible for scholarship. scholarship are awarded for pursuing studies from IX Std. modern. standard aids and appliances that can promote their physical. sophisticated and scientifically manufactured. mental retardation.

viii. vii. Including Legal Counselling. Environment Friendly and Eco-Promotive Projects for the Handicapped Grant for Purchase of Vehicle Construction of Building Grant for Computer Project for Low Vision Centres Half Way Home for Psycho-Social Rehabilitation of Treated and Controlled Mentally Ill Persons District Disability Rehabilitation Centres (DDRCs) . v. Vocational Training Centres Sheltered Workshops Special Schools for the Persons with Disabilities Project for Cerebral Palsied Children Project for Pre-School and Early Intervention and Training Home based Rehabilitation Program / Home Management Programme Project for Rehabilitation of Leprosy Cured Persons (LCPs) Project relating to Survey. Awareness and Sensitization Project for Community Based Rehabilitation Project for Human Resource Development Seminars / Workshops / Rural Camps Project for Legal Literacy. xviii. Identification. iii. xvii.Deendayal Disabled Rehabilitation Scheme to promote Voluntary Action for Persons with Disabilities (Revised DDRS Scheme) To facilitate delivery of various services to persons with disabilities by voluntary organizations. xii. ii. the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment is administering DDRS scheme and providing grants-in-aid to NGOs for the following projects:i. Legal Aid and Analysis and Evaluation of Existing Laws xiii. x. xv. iv. xvi. ix. xi. vi. xiv. xix.

as an incentive. job placement in local industries etc. d. health. research and manpower development. Bhopal and Guwahati to provide both preventive and promotional aspects of rehabilitation like education. rehabilitation for persons with disabilities etc. occupational and speech therapy. to provided barrier free access to persons with disabilities. Schemes under implementation at present are as under:a. referral for medical intervention and surgical correction. Sundernagar (Himachal Pradesh). fitment of artificial aids and appliances. provision of training for acquisition of skills through vocational training. Lucknow. Models to promote awareness about accessibility features in public buildings Funds are being provided to Universities / Administrative Training Centres in the States/UTs and State Secretariats etc. in return of employment of persons with disabilities with monthly wage up to Rs 25000/. Incentives to Employers in the Private Sector for Providing Regular Employment to Persons with Disabilities A Central Sector Scheme of providing one-lakh jobs per annum to the persons with disabilities. District Disability Rehabilitation Centers (DDRCs) The Ministry with active support of State Governments is facilitating setting up District Disability Rehabilitation Centers (DDRCs) to provide rehabilitation services to persons with disabilities. therapeutical services such as physiotherapy. for installing lifts etc.4. 1995 also. during the 11th Plan Period has already been sanctioned from 1. Centres are being set up in unreached and unserved districts of the country in a phased manner.1800 crore. employment and vocational training. at district headquarters as well as through camp approach. the Ministry has set up five Composite Regional Centres for Persons with Disabilities at Srinagar.per month.Schemes arising out of the Implementation of the Persons with Disabilities (Equal Opportunities. 1995 A number of schemes are being formulated under the Persons with Disabilities (Equal Opportunities Protection of Rights and full participation) Act. . c. Composite Regional Centres for Persons with Disabilities (CRCs) Due to lack of adequate facilities for rehabilitation of Persons with Disabilities. These centers are to provide services for prevention and early detection. Protection of Rights and Full Participation) Act. with a proposed outlay of Rs. b. the Government will make payment of the employer's contribution to the Employees Provident Fund and Employees State Insurance for the first three years. Under the Scheme.2008 by the Government.

723. the above scheme was started during 1990-91. Under the scheme.79 crores annually from the borrowers through rounding off in collection of interest tax. .e. suitable R&D projects are identified and funded for developing aids and appliances. should transfer it to a trust which would be used for welfare of persons with disabilities. who had collected an estimated excess amount of Rs. Technology Development Projects in Mission Mode With a view to provide suitable and cost effective aids and appliances through the application of technology and to increase their employment opportunities and integration in society of the physically disabled. f.4655 and 5218 of 2000 had directed that the banks. The scheme is implemented through the IITs. The Court had constituted a Committee under the chairmanship of Comptroller and Auditor General of India with Finance Secretary and Law Secretary as members. The project envisages dissemination of information in rural areas through Anganwadi workers and covers 30 districts (17 in Uttar Pradesh and 13 in Bihar). Awareness Generation Programme A pilot project for creation of awareness on prevention and early detection and intervention of various types of disabilities has been taken up. Trust Fund for Empowerment of Persons With Disabilities The Supreme Court in its order dated 16th April. 2004 in the Civil Appeals No.

Hyderabad. Bombay. About 100 training institutions exist for providing training in a variety of vocational activities to the handicapped persons. Bangalore. (7) Special quota for admission in Educational Institutions has been provided for all courses in Educational institutions. (2) For physically handicapped persons. the Railways provided concession rates of tickets to them allowing an assistant to travel along them. (8) Special grants have been released for educational institutions which are opened for handicapped and Disabled. Bhuvaneswar. Hyderabad. Ludhiana. they are allowed to deduct the expenses spent for their assistance up to a fixed amount in the Income Tax Act. Madras. Delhi. Training Facilities for Employment These facilities are available both in the Government & voluntary sectors. Trivendrum and Agartala. (3) The Government reserved some percentage of quota in employment to the handicapped. Chandigarh.The Government of India enacted Disabilities Act providing facilities to handicapped. (5) Ten vocational rehabilitation centers for the physically handicapped are functioning at Ahmedabad. Jabalpur. Shimla. Kanpur. Kanpur. Bombay. Delhi. Jabalpur. Calcutta. Gauhati. The Government of India provided the following facilities to disabled persons: (1) For payment of Income Tax. Artificial Limbs Manufacturing Corporation The Government of India has set-up an Artificial Limb Manufacturing Corporation at Kanpur to produce high quality aids and appliances for the handicapped' persons. (4) The Government opened 18 special exchanges for the physically handicapped to register their name for employment at Ahmedabad. . Patna. Madras and Trivendrum. (6) Special queues are provided for the handicapped people in public places and offices. Calcutta.

D booths.) Sports competitions are organized for physically handicapped persons and the winners are awarded prizes. petrol subsidy for owning their own vehicles.) A ten year relaxation in age has been' given to enable them to take advantage ·of reservation-policy. 13.T. Likewise they are given contracts for manning public telephone booths and running their own S.) Braille libraries are being run by the government/non-government voluntary associations.Other Facilities 1. train and air.) Some states provide free prosthetic aids or give subsidy for purchasing the same: 10. These awards are given each year on World Disabled Day. 2. 6.) The Ministry of Petroleum has made a certain percentage of reservation for allotment of petrol pumps/gas agencies/kerosene oil depots to handicapped persons. 5. 9. .and unemployment allowance.) The state of Haryana gives pension to handicapped persons .) Scholarships for handicapped students from class 9 upwards including higher and professional education are also given.) The Government gives awards to social workers for doing commendable service in the fleld of welfare of the handicapped.M. to the unemployed handicapped persons 12. 14. 3.S. 4. 15. 8.) Grants-in-Aid to voluntary agencies are given for running welfare projects for the physically challenged 11. The welfare department gives appropriate grants for the purpose.) 3 per cent of vacancies in group 'C' and 'D' posts in the Government and public sector undertakings have been reserved for the disabled persons. conveyance allowance to disabled Government/public sector employees.) The Government gives special concessions to handicapped persons for travel by bus.) H.third sunday of March. every year.) Priority is also given to disabled persons in the allotment of Government houses.) Homes for mentally retarded and blind children have been set up in several states. has produced Braille wrist watches for blind students. 7.D/I.T.) Loans are available from banks at concessional rates of interest for the handicapped persons to set up self-employment ventures.

It is estimated that there are 900 schools for the hearing impaired.The year 1981 was very significant being the International Year for Disabled Persons (IYDP). Rights based . Protection of Rights and Full Participation) Act. The aim of this policy brief is to create awareness among parliamentarians. equally capable of claiming these rights and making autonomous decisions based on their free and informed consent as well as being active members of society. Prior to this the education of the disabled. Presently there are about 3000 special schools addressing persons with different disabilities.000 for the mentally retarded and 700 for the physically disabled children. 1992 passed in Parliament was created by the Ministry of Welfare to regulate manpower development programmes in the field of education of children with special needs and The Persons with Disabilities (Equal Opportunities. which are heavily loaded with terms such as 'welfare' and 'endeavour'.people with disabilities are objects of state charity in need of medical treatment and social protection. In a country where terms like disabled. which was catered to largely in special schools. In spite of the disadvantages of the special schools and the impact on the lives of the disabled children studying in them. it is difficult to protect and affirm the rights and entitlements of persons with disabilities in government policy and laws. This can be easily sighted in all three relevant laws. . India is party to the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD). physically/mentally challenged. and also to promote and encourage them to respond proactively to the issues related to the disability sector in India today. impaired are used interchangeably to address or refer to a person with disability. It is mandated for all countries that the substantive rights & principles of the Convention should reflect on the relevant laws of the land. In the 1990’s two historical legislation were enacted namely the Rehabilitation Council of India Act. This shift was considered significant because it helped create awareness in the general education system that disabled persons are also “human resources” and can become contributing members of the society. Approaches to disability: Welfare based . 1995. in India that the education of the disabled was considered to be as a human resource development. 400 schools for the visually impaired.people with disabilities are citizens with rights. and aim to implement all objectives only 'within the economic capacity of state'. the law still provides for setting up of these schools for disabled children. 1. handicapped. came under the purview of Department of Social welfare. It was also in this year. Special schools have steadily been increasing.

2. National Trust for Welfare of Persons with Autism. respect and acceptance of human diversity. Besides the existing rights mentioned in the Acts. and respect for evolving the capacity of children with disabilities and their right to preserve their identities. individual autonomy and independence. creation of a barrier free environment. Many of these principles appear in existing laws of disability. right to association and social participation. right to health and double discrimination in relation to children and women in disability referred to in the CRPD but not appropriately incorporated within Indian disability laws and provisions in other statutes. etc. Cerebral palsy. . 1992 deals with the development of manpower for provision of Rehabilitation services. equality of opportunity. equality of respect and opportunity. 1995. Mental Retardation and Multiple Disability Act. nondiscrimination. 1999 has provisions for legal guardianship and creation of an enabling environment that will allow as much independent living as is possible. and makes it obligatory on the part of the government to synchronize laws or legal provisions with the terms of the Convention. Persons with Disabilities (Equal Opportunities. Rehabilitation Council of India Act. social security. which provides for education. right to political participation. However. India has also both signed and ratified the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) on 30th March 2007 and 1st October 2007 respectively. equality for men and women. 1. Protection of Rights and Full Participation) Act. there are certain rights under the major themes of life and liberty rights. employment. by not signing the optional protocol India has managed to safeguard itself in case of not fulfilling the commitments made under CRPD. but the welfare based approach of the government presents major obstacles to all such concepts of empowerment. accessibility. It came into force on 3rd May 2008. The general principles of the Convention are: recognition of inherent worth and dignity. 3.The Indian disability laws and Convention for the Rights of Persons with Disability (CRPD): an Incompatible relationship The Government of India has enacted three legislations for persons with disabilities viz. full and equal participation.

but rather on helping them cope within the existing mainstream educational system. the population of persons living with disability in India's neighbors is substantially higher: 5 per cent in China. constituting 2. but without mentioning reasonable accommodation for Persons with Disabilities. One WHO report states that ten per cent of the entire world's population live with disability (650 million) and that there are more people living with disability in India than in any other country. The existing law perceives a person with disability to have some sort of a 'deficit'.Interestingly a number of these rights are included in the fundamental rights of the citizen by the Constitution of India. The assumption is simple: no census. The Persons with Disabilities Act. The Census 2001 states that there are 2. 5 per cent in Nepal and 4. . 14. and no problem. Protection of Rights and Full Participation. The tragedy is that the Census Commission failed to make any attempt to collect statistics on disability until 2001. Compared to Indian statistics.13 per cent estimate in the 2001 census.2 per cent (United Kingdom) and9 per cent (the United States). it still in principle adheres to the welfare approach. in need of social compensations from the government: he/she is not a productive human resource on a par with other members of society. where needed in a particular case. UNCRPD). the contentious status of figures for disability raises a fundamental obstacle to framing and implementing effective policies throughout India. no statistics. And now with a 2. In the most developed countries this number raises to 18 per cent (Australia). So even if the Act pays lip service to Equal Opportunities. “Reasonable accommodation" means necessary and appropriate modification and adjustments not imposing a disproportionate or undue burden. FLAWS WITH THE GOVERNMENT POLICIES The principal reason for the inadequacies in existing policy can be attributed to the ambiguous approach of policy makers to disability.19 crore persons with disabilities in India. The focus is not on building the capacity of people living with disabilities. 1995 (PWDA) addresses the issue of education for children with disability as an 'endeavor' to promote their integration within mainstream schools.13 per cent of the total population.9 per cent in Pakistan. to ensure to persons with disabilities the enjoyment or exercise on an equal basis with others of all human rights and fundamental freedoms(Article 4.

so it becomes difficult to given any definition.A similarly lifeless approach continues through the chapters. The definition of mental illness itself is loaded with concepts of illness and dysfunctionality more than functionality. not education. but is instead the responsibility of the omnibus Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment. 1995. research and manpower. Across the subcontinent 90 per cent of India's 36million children with physical and mental disabilities aged between 4-16 years are out of school. Of all people living with disability.13 percent of total population. The prime focus of the Union Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment is rehabilitation. 1987. One more interesting case of social injustice through disability laws concerns people living with mental illness. which in absolute terms amounts to 7 million young people. Classification of disabled population by different categories of disabilities shows that the proportions of people with seeing disabilities are highest among disabled followed by movement disability. The Mental Health Act. which is acceptable to all. social security. The mental illness category has been officially recognized by the PWD Act.Sarva Siksha Abhiyan (SSA) .drawn up by the Ministry of Human Resource and Development. affirmative action. employment. the education of disabled children does not fall within the purview of the Human Resource Development (Education) Ministry. There is also no synchronization between the ambitious dreams of Education for All. and the objective of integrated schooling outlined in the Persons with Disabilities Act. explicitly states that a "Mentally ill person" means “a person who is in need of treatment” CONCLUSION Persons with disabilities include very heterogeneous group of peoples. The proportion of disabled in India as per census 2001 is 2. non discrimination.9 per cent belong to the 0 to 19 years age group. they are denied any employment quota: even free education is not accessible since mental illnesses are in most cases diagnosed after the age of 18. Here one clearly realizes that the ACT which is at the heart of all policies pertaining to persons with disabilities is itself conceptually flawed. etc. Currently. recognition of institutions for persons with severe disabilities. Yet. and education is not part of its agenda. . whether concerned with participation of people with disabilities. after which point free education is embargoed under PWDA. 35. prevention and early detection of the disabilities. To expect a Rights Based Policy from a Welfare Based Law is therefore misplaced.

We need to get rid of our stereotypical images and view each "individual" as just that "an individual". especially in rural areas. Organizations working in urban areas are required to expand their horizon of work to rural areas. What is required is to provide facilities for higher education and vocational training. the range of abilities of persons within any disabilities group is enormous. being profit oriented instead of service.Prevention is better than cure. Literacy rate is fairly good among disabled which points towards awareness among the disabled and their parents about importance of education. Because of this differences services are not reaching to all disabled. are also concentrated in urban areas. Medical and health care facilities.e. which is not sufficient to compete in today's globally competitive world. More organizations working for disabled should be there are rural areas. movement in education which can be easily solved by removing constructional barriers. More educational facilities should be created in rural areas to increase the education among rural disabled. and old say is more important in this context also. Various studies conducted by various organizations pointed out that the proportion of disabled with professional and technical education is very low. educational level of people with movement disability is high compared to other categories because of the fact that they face only one barriers i. Among different categories of disabled. At the same time it shows positive results of the efforts made by the government and non government organizations in providing educational facilities to disabled. Secondly the education level among disabled in rural areas is low compared to urban areas because of the concentration of educational facilities in urban areas. Classification of total disabled population by residence shows that nearly 75 percent of total disabled lives in rural areas where as most of the governmental and non-governmental organizations working for disabled are urban based. stereotypical thinking and assumption about what people with disabilities can and can't do. More concentration is needed in health care facilities. The major barrier to employment by the people with disabilities in our society continues to be attitudinal barriers. The truth is that. Most of these educated disabled are having education up to school level. Raveesh Thukral (14517703809) & Deeptanshu Sharma (15617703809) .