Daily Answer Writing
06 September 2021

Q) Analyse the success of various initiatives taken by the government to support the people with disabilities in India. (250 Words)

  • Source: The Hindu: Page 6/Editorial - True Mettle
  • GS 2: Vulnerable sections

Approach Answer: 


Introduction: The Ministry of Social Justice and empowerment has taken various steps in support of people with disabilities(PwD) in India. According to the Census 2011, number of people with disability are 2.2% of the population. The current schemes and initiatives have allowed the social inclusion of divyangjan within the society and economy.

Various steps taken by the M/o Social Justice & Empowerment.

 

    1. The Rights of Persons with Disabilities Act - 2016:  to enhance the Rights and Entitlements of Divyangjan. It  provide effective mechanism for ensuring their empowerment and true inclusion into the Society in a satisfactory manner. It defines disability as a dynamic concept and includes mental disabilities too.
    2. Accessible India campaign(AIC or Sugamya Bharat Abhiyan): a nation-wide campaign launched for achieving universal accessibility for Persons with Disabilities(PwDs). It focuses on three verticals - Building Environment, Public Transportation and Information & communication technologies.
    3. Inclusiveness and Accessibility Index: launched as a part of Sugamya Bharat Abhiyan. It helps industries & corporates to participate in the campaign by voluntarily evaluating their readiness for making the workplace accessible for PwDs. It enables organizations to introspect over their inclusive policies & organisational culture in aid of PwDs, employment of such workforce & adaptations to meet the needs of PwDs.
    4. Assistance to Disabled persons for purchasing/fitting of aids/appliances (ADIP) scheme:  to assist the needy PwD 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. It is being implemented by ALIMCO (a PSU that manufactures artificial limbs).
    5. National Trust: providing opportunities for capacity development of PwD and their families, fulfilling their rights, facilitating and promoting the creation of an enabling environment and an inclusive society.

 

Successes of these efforts:

    • Giving rights to the Divyangjan: These include reservation in higher education, government jobs, allocation of land, poverty alleviation schemes etc. have been provided for persons with benchmark disabilities and those with high support needs. It also includes Right to free Education for Every child with benchmark disability b/w age group of 6 and 18yrs.
    • Increased accessibility:  To enable the participation of the Divyangjans into the economy, increasing accessibility is key. Now it has been made compulsory for the planners to include ramps, tactile path for blind etc. in the modern structure. Currently all metro stations, airports, railway stations and government buildings etc. follow this pattern.
    • Social Inclusion: The reservation has been increased from 3% to 4% in jobs and education as now mental disabilities are also considered disabilities in India.
    • Economic Inclusion: Increased accessibilities and reservation has improved econmic inclusion of the divyangjans.
    • Increased access to aided devices: Such as visual and auditory aids, artificial limbs etc. on subsidized rates.
    • Successes in sports: Recently India ranked 24th in the international paralympic games. The coaches, the Paralympic Committee of India and Sports Ministry(TOP Scheme) played their parts while India excelled in a championship.

 

Limitations of the schemes: 

    • Too slow progress: The process of increased accessibility covers only 50% government offices, 50% railway stations and only 25% government transport facilities. Even on these work is too slow.
    • Lack of awareness: It is important that the society becomes aware about the needs of disabled persons and thus become sensitive to the requirements while designing their enterprise.
    • Inadequate training of engineers: People like engineers, designers and the architects grossly ignore the needs of divyangjans while designing.
    • Limited investment in research: Whereas research is essential to develop better aids for the physically disabled people.
    • Skill training and education: There is a requirement for special skilling for the divyangjans.
    • Societal attitude: the ignorance of the society snatches away whatever little opportunities disabled people have. The mechanism to enforce rights is too weak in India due to weak judiciary.

 

Conclusion: What makes a person disabled is lack of accessibility of opportunities in the society. If there are adequate means to enhance accessibility and means to avail opportunities, there is then there can be no disability. The recent success at the paralympic games and a performance even better than the Olympics is a reflection of this fact. Thus there is a need to increase the awareness in the society and accelerate the process of integration of the divyangjans.

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