Direct link to scholarships offered by  Govt. of India

List of Private NGOs offering scholarships

Jabir Ibn Haiyyan - GEBER

Geber, aka Abu Musa Jabir ibn Hayyan, was a prominent Islamic alchemist, pharmacist, philosopher, astronom

Ummid Assistant

Admissions open at AMU off campus centers Murshidabad and Malappuram (Kerala).

Welcome Guest! You are here: Home Special Report

Disabled demand change in mindsets, policy

Thursday December 02, 2010 05:33:56 PM, Azera Rahman, IANS

New Delhi: Widespread prejudice, lack of job opportunities and official apathy - the differently-abled in the country have to battle more than just their physical disabilities in their struggle to lead respectable lives.

India is home to 60 million disabled people. Of them, 48 percent are visually impaired, 28 percent are movement impaired, 14 percent are mentally disabled and 10 percent have hearing and speech disabilities. These are the findings of 'People with Disabilities in India: From Commitments to Outcomes,' a report prepared by the World Bank in collaboration with the ministry of social justice and empowerment.

However, NGOs say that the numbers will be much more once the 2011 census is completed.

"There needs to be an attitudinal change in the community. Just like you have physical ramps which help the physically disabled to go to an escalated height, we have to do a mental ramping for people to integrate the disabled population with the mainstream society," said Poonam Natarjan, chairperson of the National Trust, a statutory body under the ministry of social justice and empowerment.

The body led a pan-India campaign "Badhte Kadam" last month, aimed at encouraging people to answer the questions on disability included in the census.

But activists say the people's discriminatory mindset may come in the way of putting an exact number to India's disabled population.

"People generally don't mind telling you that their neighbour has a disabled member in the family, but will shy away to admit that one of their own members is differently abled. There is a kind of shame in admitting that. Even doctors try to 'treat' disabled people, making them feel like they are suffering from some disease," she added.

Awareness too is important to ensure that the disabled can benefit from the various government schemes. According to NGO estimates, almost 95 percent of the country's disabled population has no access to education, employment and healthcare.

Javed Abidi, founder of the Disability Rights Group and chairman of the National Centre for Promotion of Employment of Disabled Population (NCPEDP), said that it's not just the society, but even the government discriminates against the disabled.

"What else would you say about most of the government buildings which are not disabled friendly? And this despite the Disability Law, 1995 saying that all public buildings should be disabled friendly. Even reservation for the community in the government and private sector is dismally low," Abidi, who uses a wheelchair, told IANS.

According to Abidi, while the law says that there should be three percent reservation for disabled people in government jobs, the public sector employs just 0.5 percent disabled people. The numbers for the private sector and multinational companies are 0.2 and 0.05 percent respectively - an overall 0.4 percent employment rate.

Natarajan said that "much more needs to be done" at the policy level. Abidi said he was dismayed at the way the working draft of the new disability law, which will replace the "archaic" one, has been framed.

"We approached the social justice and empowerment ministry for a new law in October 2009 and the minister finally conceded to it in April this year and set up a 30-member committee to work on the draft. At the onset itself we had reservations against the committee because it had only three members from the disabled community, so there was hardly any representation," Abidi said.

According to Abidi, the committee extended their deadline for the draft submission twice and have finally sought time until Dec 31 this year. Even then, the work done is "shoddy".

"There are four laws which cover all persons with disabilities - the Disability Law of 1995, the National Trust Act, the Rehabilitation Council of India (RCI) Act and the Mental Health Act. The new law, as proposed by the committee, will put together a comprehensive legislation which will cover all the laws," he said.

"However, the draft says that the National Trust Act and the RCI Act couldn't be inducted because of "lack of time and space". How much more time do they need? And as far as space is concerned, there is no specified limitation for that. I wish they had included more of us in drafting the law," Abidi added.

The community now is pressing for a separate ministry on disability since they feel that their issues don't get much importance in the current setup.





  Bookmark and Share                                          Home | Top of the Page

Comment on this article

E-mail Address:
Write here...

News Pick

Return of Sarkozy shows France's importance to India

When the French president visited India in January 2008, he was unmarried. The stern Indian protocol babus did not allow him to bring Carla Bruni, his future wife - how would they seat her at official receptions, they  

Five Sena MLAs suspended for a year, opposition furious

Five Shiv Sena legislators were Thursday suspended from the Maharashtra assembly for a year following their unruly behaviour in the house, prompting opposition leaders to say the government was "running scared"  

Hamas to honour referendum on peace with Israel

The Hamas movement would accept the outcome of a Palestinian referendum on a future peace treaty with the Jewish state, its Gaza leader said on Wednesday. Ismael Haniyeh, addressing a news conference in the  

Internet now single biggest source of global information

What began modestly in the late 1960s as a way to connect research establishments by the US military has grown phenomenally to become the Internet, networking and empowering billions of people worldwide in myriads  

Media, politics, business and a lobbyist - India's own WikiLeaks

Where does brokering begin and lobbying end, who draws the line between journalistic ethics and peddling corporate in 

Obama, Tata face wrath of Bhopal survivors

They had nothing to do with the Bhopal gas tragedy, but US President Barack Obama and Tata Group chairman Ratan Tata are still the target of public anger on the 26th anniversary of the world's worst industrial disaster  

More Headlines

Taj Mahal finally gets an ambulance

Mumbai 26/11 two years later: Unanswered Questions

Mobile connections touched 687.71 million in September

Five Sena MLAs suspended for a year, opposition furious

Chew gum in class, German school pupils told

BHU student suspended for posting obscene content on Facebook

Obama, Tata face wrath of Bhopal survivors

Crisis in Andhra as minister quits, 10 others unhappy

Internet now single biggest source of global information

Kerala Jews come to relive past, as present fades

Hamas to honour referendum on peace with Israel




Top Stories

Saudi Arabia distances itself from WikiLeaks expose

The US cables exposed by WikiLeaks "do not concern the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia", an official said after communications showed Saudi Arabia and other countries in  

Pakistan's president feared military might 'take me out'

'No comment' - leaders bunker down under WikiLeaks deluge

WikiLeaks to target major US bank next


Picture of the Day

President of India Mrs. Pratibha Devisingh Patil visited AAMAL, a non profit organisation to provide services and rehabilitation to disabled individuals & their families, at Damascus, in Syria on November 28, 2010. Syrian First Lady and Chairperson of AAMAL, Mrs. Asma Assad is also seen.


  Most Read

Crisis in Andhra as minister quits, 10 others unhappy

The Congress government in Andhra Pradesh plunged into crisis Thursday, less than 24 hours after the new cabinet was sworn in, with a minister resigning over the portfolio given to him and 10 other senior ministers also expressing their unhappiness amid 

Mumbai 26/11 two years later: Unanswered Questions

This 26/11 (2010), the nation remembered with pain and grief about the incidents which had taken place two years earlier. In this a group of jeans clad terrorists rampaged the parts of Mumbai killing over two hundred innocent people. The lone survivor from terrorist groups Ajmal Kasab is facing   



RSS  |  Contact us

| Quick links



Subscribe to

Ummid Assistant






About us




Government Schemes











Contact us





      Disclaimer | Terms of Use | Advertise with us | Link Exchange is part of the Awaz Multimedia & Publications providing World News, News Analysis and Feature Articles on Education, Health. Politics, Technology, Sports, Entertainment, Industry etc. The articles or the views displayed on this website are for public information and in no way describe the editorial views. The users are entitled to use this site subject to the terms and conditions mentioned.

2010 Awaz Multimedia & Publications. All rights reserved.