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#Yojana Nector – Divyanga !!! (May 2016)

Yojana Nector is an initiative where we are trying to filter out 80 page or more contents of Yojana magazine and give you the “cream” or “nector” of the whole magazine.The idea is to give you something, that you can retain, internalize and put in the exam papers. What we essentially pick is – the critical aspects and most important datasets along with statements that can add value to you answer. It has varied range of utility as far as UPSC exams are concerned. Use it wisely and Don’t forget to revise. Also, we add few points on our own as well and will keep adding this section if we find anything interesting or substantial. What that means is, it is not confined only to YOJANA.

Albert EINSTEIN had learning impairments. Yet, he developed Theory of Relativity which greatly affected the way people view and understand the world today.

Thomas Alva Edison had hearing impairment, but his invention Electricity is more responsible than anything else for creating the modern world we live in.

Louis Braille was visually impaired, but his creation Braille, known by his name, enabled blind people worldwide to read and write.

They are the people who proved that it is not disability but one’s ability that counts. There was a time when disability – physical or mental, was considered a curse both on the family of the disabled person and the person himself.

It was believed that it was God’s retribution for sins committed in previous birth. Thankfully, modern science has helped to clear such misapprehensions. Disability is now being accepted as a curable medical condition. The disabled are no longer expected to be treated as outcasts of society. Science and innovation has provided tools to supplement their disabilities. Braille, Jaipur foot are some examples which have bettered the lives of the physically disabled. Mentally challenged have also benefitted with greater recognition and responsiveness about their needs in the society.

India’s population with disabilities has increased by 22.4 per cent between 2001 and 2011.

The number of disabled, which was 2.19 crore in 2001, rose in 2011 to 2.68 crore—1.5 crore males and 1.18 crore females.

The growth rate of disabled population is more in urban areas and among urban females.

The decadal growth in urban areas is 48.2 per cent and 55 per cent among urban females. Among scheduled castes, it is 2.45 per cent. (Census 2011)

It is not debatable that we have not been able to reach even 20 per cent of our children/persons with special needs though we have legislations such as Right to education since 2005 and compulsory and free education to all children guaranteed in the Indian constitution.

UN convention on rights of persons with disabilities was signed and ratified by India in 2006. Article 24 of the CRPD refers specifically to education, and creates an obligation for governments to do two things:

1. Provide education to children, youth with disabilities on an equal basis with other children; and

2. Provide that education within an inclusive system.

There is a need for conceptual clarity on inclusive education, which must be reflected in the vision, mission, policies, action plans, legal provisions and resource allocations. In the past, we have seen that education of children with special needs was not seen as an integral part of the education system and general education systems were not trained and prepared to make our schools and universities truly inclusive.

National Education Policy-2015:-

NEP adopts, for the first time in India, an Indian perspective to inclusive education reflecting global concerns and commitments to which India is a participatory /signatory.

Inclusive education is the responsibility of human resource development ministry and special education is the responsibility of Ministry of social justice and empowerment. We see the same overlapping roles at the state level. This has resulted in contradicting policies and practices in the education of children with special needs.

There is no policy on early childhood inclusion of children with special needs in India.

The other issues which are seen as a major barrier for inclusion are listed below:

1. Children with disabilities remain invisible to the education system;

2. Families are not supportive;

3. Teachers lack training, leadership, knowledge and support to adapt curriculum;

4. Poor quality education;

5. Poor access to knowledge and information for – parents, teachers, administrators and policy makers

6. No inclusive education infrastructure – governance, policy, planning, financing, implementation and monitoring

7. Lack of public support for inclusion; and

8. Lack of accountability and monitoring mechanisms.

During online debates on NEP 2015, the need for strengthening the schools with adequate support like E-learning, ICT, training of all teachers to address the special/ diverse needs was raised by persons with disabilities, families and NGOs working in disability sector. The urban –rural divide in reaching the unreached children/youth with disabilities was identified as a key challenge during these debates.

The Constitution of India acknowledges the significance of work and employment in Article 39 of the Directive Principles which mandated the State to ensure that the citizen, both men and women equally, have the right to an adequate means of livelihood.

Also, Article 41 requires that the state shall, within the limits of its economic capacity and development, make effective provision for securing the right to work and Article 42 requires that the states shall make provisions for securing just and humane conditions of work.

Primarily, here we would talk about Persons with Disabilities (PwDs) PwD means a person suffering from not less than 40 per cent of any defined disability as certified by a Medical Authority.

The Government of India has enacted 3 legislations for PwDs to provide equal opportunities including their socio-economic inclusion in the society namely

(i) Rehabilitation Council of India Act’1992,

(ii) PwDs Act’1995 and

(iii) National Trust for Welfare of Persons with Autism, Cerebral Palsy, Mental Retardation and Multiple Disability Act,1995.

Also, UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities 2006 (UNCRPD) ratified by India in 2008 emphasizes on full and effective participation of PwDs in Society on an equal basis with others. Similarly, National Policy for PwDs’, 2006 recognizes PwDs as a valuable human resource and seeks to create equal opportunities for a dignified life in society.

It mandates an inclusive society for all. As per the data available, about 13.4 million (8.8 million in rural India and 4.6 million in urban India) PwDs are in employable age group. Out of this 13.4 million PwDs in employable age group, 7.8 million are male and 5.6 million are females. Also, out of the total PwD population, 14.6 million are literate.

It shows that PwDs is a large pool of human resource whose potential to contribute towards the economy of the country cannot be ignored.Hence it makes a strong case for skilling them and making them job-ready.

Financial inclusion:-

Financial inclusion is the availability of financial services and various financial products at affordable cost to the disadvantaged segment of the society.This includes banking products and financial services like insurance, pensions and loans for various purposes It is a fact that disability is inter-related with poverty as it is more likely to find more occurrences of PwDs in poverty. Also, the poor section of the society is more likely to be disabled. The situation worsens in case of women with disability.

The financial inclusion of PwDs is, therefore, more important as well as challenging than other disadvantaged sections because of associated difficulties like low mobility, physical barriers, low level of education about financial products and scattered population of PwDs being an hindrance in forming exclusive SHGs.

In view of the difficulties of PwDs to access financial assistance/credit for self employment and education, the Government of India set-up National Handicapped Finance and Development Corporation (NHFDC) on 24th January 1997.

Mainly, the schemes and programmes of the corporation can be classified as

(i) Credit based activity where concessional loans are extended to PwDs

a. Self Employment Loans

b. Education Loan

c. Micro Finance

(ii) Non credit based activity where grants are provided to PwDs

a. Skill Training of PwD

b. Scholarship Schemes

Accessibility is a precondition for inclusion of persons with disabilities. It enables persons with disabilities to live independently and to participate comfortably and safely in their community. Disability and accessibility can be said to be inversely proportional, where with an increase in accessibility, the level of disability decreases. Accessibility may be considered as an inherent right that benefits everybody and not only a concern to persons with a condition like disability, or to a demographic group like the elderly.

The more recent Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) addresses accessibility as a General Principle and as a specific Article. As a General Principle, it requires that all articles of the convention, when implemented, must take cognizance of accessibility.

As a specific article – Article 9 on ‘Accessibility’, it must be read along with Article 21 ‘Freedom of expression and opinion, and access to information’, Article 20 ‘Personal mobility’ to get a complete understanding of accessibility requirements.

Article 4General Obligations’ of the convention provides direction to the States on providing accessibility to all its citizens with disabilities and puts forth the idea of ‘progressive realization’ of accessibility.

At the regional level, the Asian and Pacific Decade for Persons with Disabilities (2013-2022) in Goal 3 focuses on accessibility of physical environment, public transport, knowledge, information and communication.

Accessible India Campaign:-

The ‘Accessible India Campaign (AIC)’ is a nation-wide flagship campaign for achieving universal accessibility that will enable persons with disabilities to gain access to equal opportunities, to live independently and to participate fully in all aspects of life within an inclusive society.

The campaign has been launched by the Department of Empowerment of Persons with Disabilities (DEPwD), Ministry of Social Justice & Empowerment.

AIC has a multi-pronged strategy with key components as

(a) leadership endorsements of the campaign,

(b) mass awareness,

(c) capacity building through workshops,

(d) interventions (legal frame-work, technology solutions, resource generation, etc. and

(e) leverage corporate sector efforts in a Public- Private Partnership.


A range of legislation and policy frameworks apart from the disability rights Act must include accessibility for persons with disabilities as an integral requirement. These acts included – building regulation; urban and rural development laws, public transport including regulation relating to road transport, railways, civil aviation and maritime, internet regulation, broadcasting and telecommunication regulation, emergency and disaster management laws, housing laws, procurement laws, laws pertaining to various public services and facilities such as education, health, tourism, police, courts, sports and culture, etc.

Accessibility index:-

Twenty years after passing of the PwD Act, 1995, we need to evaluate if we have made significant progress towards an inclusive future. Development of an Accessibility index would possibly help us map and measure the status now. It is popularly said, ‘What gets measured, gets done?’ It’s time to measure accessibility and evaluate our infrastructures (public buildings, streets, institutions, transport terminals and all other forms of built environments that exist), so that a measurable criteria with clear evaluation guide a periodic assessment of our built environments.

As per the WHO estimates, more than one billion people in the world live with some form of disability, of whom nearly 200 million experience considerable difficulties in functioning.

In 2011, WHO launched the World Report on Disability (WRD). It was the first effort in order to have proper and common understanding of disability adopting a multidimensional approach. The Census 2011 has revealed that over 26 million people in India are suffering from one or the other kind of disability. This is equivalent to 2.21 per cent of the population.

Issues Faced by Divyanga:-

  1. Social:-
    1. Social exclusion and isolation
    2. Lack of empathy leading to discrimination and mockery from school to offices
  2. Economic:-
    1. Financial exclusion and Hardship
    2. Excess burden and out of pocket expenditure for health care
    3. Poverty and lack of access to good nutrition
    4. Beggary as an issue emanating from disability
  3. Political:-
    1. Lackadaisical approach of political leadership
    2. Although program and policies are there – it more often held in letter than spirit
    3. No political voice.
    4. Inadequate participation from civil society and NGOs for the cause of disabled.
  4. Technological
    1. Although technology has been the true friend of the disabled , yet access to technology and prohibitive costs of equipment does not help the cause.
    2. Affordability of technological solutions remains a challenge
  5. Healthcare-
    1. Ironically, many of our PHCs are yet to be barrier free.
    2. Counselling and help remains far from reach


Governments of the ESCAP region gathered in Incheon, Republic of Korea in 2012 to chart the course of the new Asian and Pacific Decade of Persons with Disabilities for the period 2013 to 2022. They were joined by representatives of civil society organizations, including organizations of and for persons with disabilities. Also in attendance were representatives of intergovernmental organizations, development cooperation agencies and the United Nations system.

The Incheon Strategy provides the Asian and Pacific region, and the world, with the first set of regionally agreed disability-inclusive development goals.

The Incheon Strategy builds on the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and the Biwako Millennium Framework for Action and Biwako Plus Five towards an Inclusive, Barrier-free and Rights-based Society for Persons with Disabilities in Asia and the Pacific.

The Incheon Strategy will enable the Asian and Pacific region to track progress towards improving the quality of life, and the fulfilment of the rights, of the region’s 650 million persons with disabilities, most of whom live in poverty.

Noting that the World Report on Disability estimates that 15 per cent of the population experience some form of disability, which in the Asian and Pacific region equates to 650 million persons with disabilities,with 80 per cent living in developing countries.

Few Initiative in this regard:-

  1. Bali Declaration – On the Enhancement of the Role and Participation of Persons with Disabilities in the ASEAN Community.
  2. Busan Partnership-for Effective Development Cooperation adopted by the Fourth High-level Forum on Aid Effectiveness, Busan, Republic of Korea, which, inter alia, recognized the importance of international commitments on disability for forming the foundation of cooperation for effective development
  3. Beijing Declaration-On Disability-InclusiveDevelopment adopted Beijing Forum with the theme “removing barriers, promoting integration “
  4. United Nations Conferenceon Sustainable Development, entitled “The future we want”,  which was adopted by the Conference identified persons with disabilities and recognized their right to inclusion in measures that accelerate the implementation of sustainable development commitments



Key principles and policy direction
The Incheon Strategy is based on the principles of the Convention on
the Rights of Persons with Disabilities:

  1. Respect for inherent dignity, individual autonomy, including the freedom to make one’s own choices, and independence of persons;
  2. Non-discrimination;
  3. Full and effective participation and inclusion in society;
  4. Respect for difference and acceptance of persons withdisabilities as part of human diversity and humanity;
  5. Equality of opportunity;
  6. Accessibility;
  7. Equality between men and women;
  8. Respect for the evolving capacities of children with disabilities and respect for the right of children with disabilities to preserve their identities


  1. Eliminate extreme poverty among persons with disabilities Increase work and employment for persons of working age with disabilities who can and want to work Increase the participation of persons with disabilities in vocational training and other employment-support programmes funded by governments

  2. Ensure that persons with disabilities are represented in government decision-making bodies Provide reasonable accommodation to enhance the participation of persons with disabilities in the political process

  3. Increase the accessibility of the physical environment in the national capital that is open to the public Enhance the accessibility and usability of public transportation Enhance the accessibility and usability of information and communications services Halve the proportion of persons with disabilities who need but do not have appropriate assistive devices or products

  4. Increase access to all health services, including rehabilitation, for all persons with disabilities Increase coverage of persons with disabilities within social protection programmes

  5. Enhance services and programmes, including for personal assistance and peer counselling, that support persons with disabilities, especially those with multiple, extensive and diverse disabilities, in living independently in the community

  6. Enhance measures for early detection of, and intervention for,children with disabilities from birth to pre-school ageHalve the gap between children with disabilities and children without disabilities in enrolment rates for primary and secondary education

  7. Enable girls and women with disabilities to have equitable access to mainstream development opportunities Ensure representation of women with disabilities in government decision-making bodies Ensure that all girls and women with disabilities have access to sexual and reproductive health services on an equitable basis with girls and women without disabilities Increase measures to protect girls and women with disabilities from all forms of violence and abuse

  8. Strengthen disability-inclusive disaster risk reduction planning Strengthen implementation of measures on providing timely and appropriate support to persons with disabilities in responding to disasters

  9. Produce and disseminate reliable and internationally comparable disability statistics in formats that are accessible by persons with disabilities Establish reliable disability statistics by the midpoint of the Decade, 2017, as the source for tracking progress towards the achievement of the goals and targets in the Incheon Strategy



February 28, 2017

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