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The Constitution of India ensures equality, freedom, justice and dignity of all individuals and implicitly mandates an inclusive society for all including persons with disabilities. In the recent years, there have been vast and positive changes in the perception of the society towards persons with disabilities. It has been realized that a majority of persons with disabilities can lead a better quality of life if they have equal opportunities and effective access to rehabilitation measures. According to the Census 2001, there are 2.19 crore persons with disabilities in India who constitute 2.13 percent of the total population. This includes persons with visual, hearing, speech, locomotors and mental disabilities. Seventy five per cent of persons with disabilities live in rural areas, 49 per cent of disabled population is literate and only 34 per cent are employed.

There are five Composite Rehabilitation Centers, four Regional Rehabilitation Centers and 120 District Disability Rehabilitation Centers (DDRCs) providing various kinds of rehabilitation services to persons with disabilities. National Handicapped and Finance Development Corporation (NHFDC) has been providing loans on concessional terms for undertaking selfemployment ventures by the persons with disabilities through State Channelizing Agencies. India is a signatory to the Declaration on the Full Participation and Equality of People with Disabilities in the Asia Pacific Region. India is also a signatory to the Biwako Millennium Framework for action towards an inclusive, barrier free and rights based society. India is currently participating in the negotiations on the UN Convention on Protection and promotion of the Rights and Dignity of Persons with Disabilities.

National Policy Statement The National Policy recognizes that Persons with Disabilities are valuable human resource for the country and seeks to create an environment that provides them equal opportunities, protection of their rights and full participation in society. The focus of the policy shall be on the following: Prevention of Disabilities Since disability, in a large number of cases, is preventable, there will be strong emphasis on prevention of disabilities. Programme for prevention of diseases, which result in disability and the creation of awareness regarding measures to be taken for prevention of disabilities during the period of pregnancy and thereafter will be intensified and their coverage expanded. Rehabilitation Measures Rehabilitation measures can be classified into three distinct groups: (I) physical rehabilitation, which includes early detection and intervention, counseling & medical interventions and provision of aids & appliances. It will also include the development of rehabilitation professionals. (ii) educational rehabilitation including vocational education and (iii) economic rehabilitation for a dignified life in society.

Physical Rehabilitation Strategies Early Detection and Intervention Early detection of disability and intervention through drug or non-drug therapies helps in minimization of impact of disability. Therefore, there will be emphasis on early detection and early intervention, and necessary facilities will be created towards this end. Government will take measures to disseminate information regarding availability of such facilities to the people especially in rural areas. Counseling & Medical Rehabilitation Physical rehabilitation measures including counseling, strengthening capacities of persons with disabilities and their families, physiotherapy, occupational therapy, psychotherapy, surgical correction and intervention, vision assessment, vision stimulation, speech therapy, audio logical rehabilitation and special education shall be extended to cover all the districts in the country by active involvement and participation of State Governments, local level institutions, NGOs including associations of parents and persons with disabilities. Currently, rehabilitation services are largely available in and around urban areas. Since seventy five percent persons with disabilities live in rural areas, the services run by professionals will be extended to cover uncovered and un-served areas. Privately owned rehabilitation service centers shall be regulated for maintenance of minimum standards which shall be laid down. To expand coverage in rural and unserved areas, new District Disability Rehabilitation Centers (DDRCs) will be set up with support from the State Government. The National Rural Health Mission through Accredited Social Health Activist (ASHA) addresses the health needs of rural population, especially the vulnerable sections of society. The ASHA inter-alia will take care of the comprehensive services to the persons with disabilities at the grass root level.

Assistive Devices The Government of India has been assisting persons with disabilities in procuring durable and scientifically manufactured, modern aids and appliances of ISI standard that can promote their physical, social and psychological independence by reducing the effect of disabilities. Every year through National Institutes, State Governments, DDRCs and NGOs, persons with disabilities are provided with devices such as prostheses and orthoses, tricycles, wheel chair, surgical footwear and devices for activities of daily living, learning equipments (Braille writing equipments, Dictaphone, CD player/ tape recorder), low vision aids, special mobility aids like canes for blind, hearing aids, educational kits, communication aids, assistive & alerting devices and devices suitable for the persons with mental disabilities. The availability of devices will be expanded to cover uncovered and under-serviced areas. Private, public and joint sector enterprises involved in the manufacture of high tech assistive devices for persons with disabilities will be provided financial support by the public sector banks. Development of Rehabilitation Professionals Human resource requirements for rehabilitation of persons with disabilities will be assessed and development plan will be prepared so that the rehabilitation strategies do not suffer from lack of manpower.

Education for Persons with Disabilities 3.Education is the most effective vehicle of social and economic empowerment. In keeping with the spirit of the Article 21A of the Constitution guaranteeing education as a fundamental right and Section 26 of the Persons with Disabilities Act, 1995, free and compulsory education has to be provided to all children with disabilities up to the minimum age of 18 years. According to the Census, 2001, fifty-one percent persons with disabilities are illiterate. This is a very large percentage. There is a need for mainstreaming of the persons with disabilities in the general education system through Inclusive education. 4.Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan (SSA) launched by the Government has the goal of eight years of elementary schooling for all children including children with disabilities in the age group of 6-14 years by 2010. Children with disabilities in the age group of 15-18 years are provided free education under Integrated Education for Disabled Children (IEDC) Scheme. 5.Under SSA, a continuum of educational options, learning aids and tools, mobility assistance, support services etc. are being made available to students with disabilities. This includes education through an open learning system and open schools, alternative schooling, distance education, special schools, wherever necessary home based education, itinerant teacher model, remedial teaching, part time classes, Community Based Rehabilitation (CBR) and vocational education. 6.IEDC Scheme implemented through the State Governments, Autonomous Bodies and Voluntary Organizations provides hundred percent financial assistance for various facilities like special teachers, books and stationery, uniform, transport, readers allowance for the visually handicapped, hostel allowance, equipment cost, removal/modification of architectural barriers, financial assistance for purchase/production of instructional material, training of general teachers and equipment for resource rooms.


There will be concerted effort on the part of the Government to improve identification of children with disabilities through regular surveys, their enrollment in appropriate schools and their continuation till they successfully complete their education. The Government will endeavor to provide right kind of learning material and books to the children with disabilities, suitably trained and sensitized teachers and schools which are accessible and disabled friendly. Government of India is providing scholarships to students with disabilities for pursuing studies at post school level. Government will continue to support the scholarships and expand its coverage. Facilities for technical and vocational education designed to inculcate and bolster skill development suited to various types of productive activities by adaptation of the existing institutes or accelerated setting up of institutes in un-served/underserved areas will be encouraged. NGOs will also be encouraged to provide vocational training. Persons with disabilities will be provided access to the Universities, technical institutions and other institutions of higher learning to pursue higher and professional courses.




The constitution of India as amended in December 2002 provides that free and compulsory education is a fundamental right of all children in the age group of 6-14 years. Accordingly, the Ministry of Human Resources Development in the Government of India has formulated a comprehensive and integrated national programme of Sarv Shiksha Abhiyaan (SSA) to provide assistance to states. This programme adopts a ‘zero rejection policy’ so that no child is left out of the education system. The programme has been launched to provide eight years of quality education to all children including children with special needs. It also supports a wide range of approaches, options and strategies for education of children with disabilities. The Government of India has been implementing a centrally sponsored scheme of Integrated Education for the Disabled Children (IEDC) in various States and UTs. The scheme endeavors to achieve the integration of children with 100% financial assistance is provided for transport facilities, books and stationery, uniform, instructional material, assistive equipments, readers facilities for the visually handicapped, attend facility for the orthopaedically handicapped, special teacher facility, hostel facility for disabled children situated on school campus, removal of architectural barriers in schools etc. In order to effectively implement provisions through convergence of various schemes/activities by the Government organization/ autonomous bodies, the following guidelines are issued:

Transport facility to the children with disability or in the alternative financial incentives to parents or guardians to enable their children with disabilities to attend schools. Removal of Architectural barriers from schools, colleges or other institutions imparting vocational and professional training. Supply of Books, Uniforms and other materials to children with disabilities attending school. Grant of scholarships to students with disabilities. Setting up of appropriate fora for the redressal of grievances of parents regarding the placement of their children with disabilities. Suitable modification in the examination system to eliminate purely mathematical questions for the benefit of blind students and students with low vision. Restructuring of curriculum for the benefit of children with disabilities.

Appointment of Special Teachers Special education teacher belonging to specific area of disability can be appointed in the school or as itinerant special teacher depending on the student pupil ratio. The teacherpupil ratio for special education teachers envisaged under this scheme is 1:5. This ratio will be the same for all regular classes as well as for preparatory pre-school classes. In accordance with this ratio the requisite number of special teachers may be appointed in schools (or for a cluster of schools) for learners requiring special teacher support on permanent or contractual basis. The same teachers will provide counseling to the parents, help in identifying the needs of learners with disabilities, participate in the assessment team, assist the general teachers in developing IEPs, help in training programmes and in other ways whenever necessary. Special teachers so appointed should posses the following qualifications: Academic Qualifications as prevalent in the State and Uts. Degree/Diploma in special education recognized by RCI Teachers with Qualifications in single disability area will be encouraged to specialize in other disability area to take care of wide range of diversities in a general school.

Difference between Integration and Inclusion Inclusive education is different from integration. In integration learners with disabilities are placed in a regular school without making any changes in the school to accommodate and support the diverse needs. Inclusive education, by comparisons seeks to adapt systems and structures to meet the needs of all learners. Moving from integration to inclusion requires changes/ adaptations at various levels including to the curriculum, attitudes, values, language etc. These adaptations are made by fully involving the learners in the process. Integration was based on a conceptual model that was medical in nature that viewed disability only as a pathology requiring medical care. On the other hand Inclusion is based on a social model of disability that views disability as a socially created problem and management of problem requires social action in the form of environmental modifications necessary for the full participation of persons with disabilities in every sphere of life.

Economic Rehabilitation of Persons with Disabilities Economic rehabilitation of Persons with disabilities comprise of both wage employment in organized sector and self-employment. Supporting structure of services by way of vocational rehabilitation centers and vocational training centers will be developed to ensure that disabled persons in both urban and rural areas have increased opportunities for productive and gainful employment. Strategies for economic empowerment of persons with disabilities would be the following:Employment in Government Establishments The PWD Act, 1995 provides for 3% reservation in employment in the establishments of Government of India and Public Sector Undertakings (PSUs) against identified posts. The status of reservation for Government in various Ministries/ Departments against identified posts in Group A, B, C & D is 3.07%, 4.41%, 3.76% and 3.18% respectively. In PSUs, the reservation status in Group A, B, C & D is 2.78%, 8.54%, 5.04% and 6.75%, respectively. Government will ensure reservation in identified posts in the Government sector including public sector undertakings in accordance with the provisions of the PWD Act, 1995. The list of identified posts, which was notified in 2001, will be reviewed and updated.

Wage employment in Private sector Development of appropriate skills in persons with disabilities will be encouraged for their employability in private sector. Vocational rehabilitation and training Centres engaged in developing appropriate skills amongst persons with disabilities keeping in view their potential and abilities will be encouraged to expand their services. Considering rapid growth of employment opportunities in service sector, persons with disabilities will be encouraged to undertake skill training suitable to the market requirement. Pro-active measures like incentives, awards, tax exemptions etc. will be taken to encourage the employment of persons with disabilities in the private sector. Self-employment Considering slow pace of growth in employment opportunities in the organized sector, self-employment of persons with disabilities will be promoted. This will be done through vocational education and management training. Further, the existing system of providing loans at softer terms from the NHFDC will be improved to make it easily accessible with transparent and efficient procedures of processing. The Government will also encourage self-employment by providing incentives, tax concessions, exemptions from duties, preferential treatment for procurement of goods and services by the Government from the enterprises of persons with disabilities, etc. Priority in financial support will be given to Self Help Groups formed by the persons with disabilities.

Economic Assistance Under the Scheme of Public Sector banks for Orphanages Women’s Homes and Persons with Disabilities, the benefits of the differential rate of interest are available to persons with disabilities as well as institutions working for the welfare of the handicapped. The details of the scheme are as under: Eligibility Persons with Orthopaedic disabilities are eligible to take loans under the scheme, if they satisfy the following conditions: 8.Should be pursuing a gainful occupation 9.Family income from all sources should not exceed more than Rs. 7200/- in urban or semi-urban areas or Rs 6400/- p.a. in rural areas. 10.Should not have land holding exceeding 1 acre if irrigated, and 25 acres if unirrigated 11.Should not incur liability to two sources of finance at the same time. 12.Should work largely on their own and with such help as other members of their family or some joint partners may give them.

Scheme of assistance to disabled person for purchase and fitting of aid/appliances: Only those aids and appliances which do not cost less than Rs.25 and more than Rs. 3600/ are covered under this scheme. These limits will apply to individual items of aid and where more than one aid is required, giving of the same will be permissible and the limits will be applied separately. The amount of assistance will be as follows: (5)Total income Up to Rs. 1200 and amount assistance full cost of the aid (2) Total income Rs. 1201 to Rs. 2500 and amount assistance 50% of the cost of the aid Artificial Limbs Manufacturing Corporation ALIMCO is the only public sector company of its type in the country. It manufacturers crutches, wheelchairs, tricycles, and other aids and appliances which are of international standards. The company has set up 35 limb fitting centres which operate through State Governments. Besides, there are 152 implementing agencies which provide the aids and appliances manufactured by ALIMCO

Income Tax Concessions A person with disability shall be allowed a deduction of Rs. 6000/- , but his deduction will not be allowed where his income exceeds Rs. 1,00,000/-. 5.For persons with multiple handicaps (or disability over 80%) the eligible amount for tax deduction has increased to Rs, 75,000. The eligible amount also stands increased from Rs.40,000 to Rs.50,000 for all disabled people. 7.Relief can be availed, both under Section 80DD as well as Section 80DDB of Income Tax Act. Section 80DD refers to deduction for maintenance, which includes medical treatment of a disabled person. The category of disability as prescribed under Rule 11A. Section 80DDB allows deduction for medical treatment of such disease or ailment as specified under Rule 11DD. 9.Rule 11D refers to permanent physical disability like hearing impairment, whereas Rule 11DD refers to ailments or diseases like aphasia.

4. Disability is no longer governed by Section 11D, but by the meaning assigned to it under Section 2 (i) of The Persons with Disabilities (Equal Opportunities, Protection of Rights and Full Participation) Act 1995. 5. The relief for Section 80DDB is not enhanced from Rs.40,000, but the certificate will be in a new form. Scheme of Subsidy for purchase of Petrol to Persons with Disabilities Disabled people who own motorised vehicles are granted exemption from the payment of the road tax by State Government/Union Territory Administration and are eligible to claim refund up to 50% of the expenditure incurred by them on purchase of petrol/diesel from recognized dealers subject to a ceiling as indicated below: Vehicle upto 2 HP 15 lts per month Vehicle upto 2 HP 25 lts per month A physically handicapped person having an income upto Rs.2500/- from all sources would only be eligible for the grant of subsidy on purchase of petrol/diesel. The scheme is operative through District Social Welfare Officers or Tehseeldar/Equivalent officer.

Assistance to Disabled Persons for Purchase/Fitting of Aids/Appliances The main objective of the scheme is to assist needy physically handicapped persons in procuring durable, sophisticated and scientifically manufactured aids and appliances that promote their physical, social and psychological rehabilitation. The scheme is implemented through centers run by the companies registered under Companies Act, registered societies, trusts or any other institutions recognized by the Ministry of Social Justice & Empowerment for the purpose. A large number of governmental and non-governmental agencies are engaged for the implementation of the scheme. Aids and appliances such as wheelchairs, crutches, calipers, hearing aid, Braille slates, etc. are given to different categories of disabled persons. Indian citizens possessing a certificate from a registered medical practitioner can benefit under the scheme. Disabled persons in need of aids and appliances are given travel allowance subject to a limit of Rs. 150/- for visit to implementing agencies. The board and lodging expenses at the rate of Rs. 10 per day subject to Rs. 150/- per beneficiary are also admissible in cases where the income of such persons is up to Rs. 1200/- per month. According to the scheme, aids and appliances up to the value of Rs. 3600/- are distributed to the disabled persons free of cost if the monthly income of the disabled is up to Rs. 1200/- and at 50 per cent of the cost if it is between R. 1201/- and Rs. 2500/-.

Travel Mobility is one of the most important issues that confront disabled persons. Offering disabled people the freedom of mobility is very important and the government recognizes this. The section below, talks about various concessions and subsidies provided by the government relating to travel meant specifically for persons with disabilities.
Travel Concessions by Bus Concessions are provided for persons with physical impairments and visually handicaps. Student concessions are provided to all children. Mostly each state has its own policy. Travel Concessions by Rail As per the Order of Ministry of Railway, Government of India, the following concessions are available for the disabled:

Element of Concession Percentage of Rail Concession Person The concession certificate may be issued by the Station Master on collection of the certificate form and the copy of original certificate duly attested by a Gazetted Officer, M.P.,M.L.A. etc. may be produced while collecting the ticket.


First Class

Second Sleeper Class Class

Season Ticket First Class

Season Ticket Second Class

% age of Concession






Travel by AIR - Guidelines of DGCA and Concessions
Concessions for Blind Persons The Indian Airlines Corporation allows 50% concessional fare to Blind persons or single journey or single fare for round trip journey on all domestic flights. To avail this facility (for blind persons) they have to produce a certificate from registered medical practitioner testifying to the fact that the person is blind and has lost the vision of both eyes. Such certificate must also carry the registration number of the registered medical practitioner of the state to which he belongs. Air Hostess/Steward will look after the Blind Persons not accompanied by escorts in flight. The Public Relation Officer or the Traffic Officer Incharge at the airport will render necessary assistance to such infirm passengers at the airport of departure and arrival. Escorts are to pay full fare. This concession cannot be combined with any other concessional fare allowed by the Indian Airlines. Concessions for People with Locomotor Disability Locomotor Disabled persons (80% and above) are allowed following Concession in Indian Airlines : e.50% of normal Economy Class INR Fare or Point to Point Fare, Full Inland Air Travel Tax and Passenger Service Fee applicable. f.b. 50% of INR fare applicable to foreigners residing in India for travel on Domestic Sectors.

Women with disabilities 2.According to Census-2001, there are 93.01 lakh women with disabilities, which constitute 42.46 percent of total disabled population. Women with disabilities require protection against exploitation and abuse. Special programmes will be developed for education, employment and providing of other rehabilitation services to women with disabilities keeping in view their special needs. Special educational and vocation training facilities will be setup. Programmes will be undertaken to rehabilitate abandoned disabled women/ girls by encouraging their a adoption in families, support to house them and impart them training for gainful employment skills. The Government will encourage the projects where representation of women with disabilities is ensured at least to the extent of twenty five percent of total beneficiaries. 3.Steps shall be taken to provide short duration stay homes for women with disabilities, hostels for working disabled women, and homes for aged disabled women. 4.It has been noted that women with disabilities have serious difficulty in looking after their children. The Government will take up a programme to provide financial support to women with disabilities so that they may hire services to look after their children. Such support will be limited to two children for a period not exceeding two years.

Children with Disabilities Children with disabilities are the most vulnerable group and need special attention. The Government would strive to: 5.Ensure right to care, protection and security for children with disabilities; 7.Ensure the right to development with dignity and equality creating an enabling environment where children can exercise their rights, enjoy equal opportunities and full participation in accordance with various statutes 8.Ensure inclusion and effective access to education, health, vocational training along with specialized rehabilitation services to children with disabilities. 9.Ensure the right to development as well as recognition of special needs and of care, and protection of children with severe disabilities.

Social Security 3.Disabled persons, their families and care givers incur substantial additional expenditure for facilitating activities of daily living, medical care, transportation, assistive devices, etc. Therefore, there is a need to provide them social security by various means. Central Government has been providing tax relief to persons with disabilities and their guardians. The State Governments/ U.T. Administrations have been providing unemployment allowance or disability pension. The State Governments will be encouraged to develop a comprehensive social security policy for persons with disabilities. 4.Parents of severely disabled persons with autism, cerebral palsy, mental retardation and multiple disabilities feel a sense of insecurity regarding the welfare of their wards after their death. The National Trust for persons with autism, cerebral palsy, mental retardation and multiple disabilities has been providing legal guardians through Local Level Committee. They are also implementing the Supported Guardianship Scheme to provide financial security to persons with the above-mentioned severe disabilities who are destitute and abandoned by supporting the cost of guardianship. This scheme, which is presently implemented in a few districts, shall be expanded to cover other areas in a phased manner.


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