THE NATIONAL POLICY FOR PERSONS WITH DISABILITIES, 2006
Recognizing that the Persons with Disabilities constitute a valuable human resource for the country and that a majority of such persons can lead a better quality of life if they have equal opportunities and effective access to rehabilitation measures, the Government, with a view to create an environment that provides such persons equal opportunities for protection of their rights and full participation in society, formulated and brought out the National Policy for Persons with Disabilities
2. With focus on Prevention of Disabilities and Rehabilitation Measures, the Policy provides for the following:-
I.Prevention of Disabilities
II A. Physical Rehabilitation Strategies :
- Early Detection and Intervention
- Counseling & Medical Rehabilitation
- Assistive Devices
- Development of Rehabilitation Professionals
II B. Education for Persons with Disabilities
II C. Economic Rehabilitation of Persons with Disabilities :
- Employment in Government Establishments
- Wage employment in Private Sector
III. Provisions for Women with Disabilities
IV. Provisions for Children with Disabilities
V. Barrier-free Environment
VI. Issue of Disability Certificates
VII. Social Security
VIII. Promotion of Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs)
IX. Collection of regular information on Persons with Disabilities
XI. Sports, Recreation and Cultural life
XII. Amendments to existing Acts dealing with the Persons with Disabilities
4. Accordingly, the principal areas of intervention under the Policy are : Prevention, Early-detection and Intervention; Programmes of Rehabilitation; Human Resource Development; Education of Persons with Disabilities; Employment; Barrier free-environment; Social Protection; Research; Sports, Recreation and Cultural Activities.
5. The following mechanism is in place for implementation of the National Policy:
i. Department of Empowerment of Persons with Disabilities, Ministry of Social Justice & Empowerment is the nodal Department to coordinate all matters relating to implementation of the Policy.
- The Central Coordination Committee, with stakeholder representation, coordinates matters relating to implementation of the National Policy. There is a similar Committee at the State level.
- The Ministries of Home Affairs; Health & Family Welfare; Rural Development; Urban Development; Youth Affairs & Sports; Railways; Science & Technology; Statistics & Programme Implementation; Labour; Panchayati Raj and Women & Child Development and Departments of Elementary Education & Literacy, Secondary & Higher Education; Road Transport & Highways; Public Enterprises; Revenue; Information Technology and Personnel & Training are also identified for implementation of the policy.
- Panchayati Raj Institutions and Urban Local Bodies are associated in the functioning of the District Disability Rehabilitation Centres. They are required to play a crucial role in the implementation of the National Policy to address local level issues.
- The Chief Commissioner for Persons with Disabilities at Central level and State Commissioners at the State level, play key role in implementation of the National Policy, apart from their respective statutory responsibilities.
UNITED NATIONS CONVENTION ON THE RIGHTS OF PERSONS WITH DISABILITIES (UNCRPD), 2006
The Convention was adopted by UN General Assembly on December 13, 2006 and opened for signing by the State Parties on March 30, 2007. Adoption of the Convention has really imparted empowerment to Persons with Disabilities across the globe to demand their rights and make State, private and civil society agencies accountable for enjoying their rights.
2. India is one of the few first countries which ratified the Convention. Consequent upon signing the Convention on March 30, 2007, India ratified the Convention on 01.10.2007. The Convention has come into force from May 3, 2008. The Convention places the following three important obligations on each State Party: –
a) Implementation of the provisions of the Convention;
b) Harmonization of the country laws with the Convention and
c) Preparation of a Country Report.
3. Taking concrete measures for effective implementation of the Convention, all the concerned Central Ministries were requested to implement the provisions of the Convention as might be applicable to each of them. Similarly, all the Chief Ministers of States and Administrators of UTs were also requested to examine different provisions/obligations under the Convention as might relate to them and to take effective steps for their early implementation. The State Governments/UT Administrators were also asked to furnish a status report in this regard so that the same could be utilized towards preparing the Country Report. Rigorous monitoring and follow-up was being done in this regard so as to fulfill obligations of the Convention. India’s First Country Report was submitted to UN Committee on Rights of Persons in November, 2015.
Incheon Strategy “To make the Right Real” for Persons with Disabilities in Asia and Pacific. The Ministers and representative of members and associate members of the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP) assembled at the High Level Inter Governmental meeting on the final review of the implementation of the Asian and Pacific Decade of Disabled Persons, 2003-2012 held at Incheon, Korea from 29th October – 2 nd November, 2012 and adopted the Incheon Strategy “Make the Right Real” for Persons with Disabilities in Asia and the Pacific. The ESCAP in its 69th Session held from 25th April – 1 st May, 2013 passed the resolution endorsing the Ministerial declaration and Incheon Strategy.
2. The Incheon Strategy to make the Right Real for Persons with Disabilities in Asia and Pacific sets out the following 10 goals:-
- Reduce Poverty and enhance work and employment prospects;
- Promote participation in political processes and in decision making;
- Enhance access to the physical environment, public transportation, knowledge, information and communication;
- Strengthen social protection;
- Expand early intervention and education of children with disabilities;
- Ensure gender equality and women‟s empowerment;
- Ensure disability-inclusive disaster risk reduction and management;
- Improve the reliability and comparability of disability data;
- Accelerate the ratification and implementation of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and harmonisation of National Legislation with the Convention; and x. Advance sub-regional, regional and inter-regional co-operation.
3. The Incheon Strategy spells out Action Plans at the regional, sub-regional and regional levels to achieve the above goals and also contains the core indicators for tracking the progress of implementation.
4. In order to oversee implementation of the Incheon Strategy, the UNESCAP has constituted a Working Group on the Asian and Pacific Decade for Persons with Disabilities, 2013-2022. The Working Group consists for Government representatives from 15 member countries including India and 15 Civil Society Organisations in the Asia and Pacific Region. The First meeting of the Working Group was held at Incheon, Korea during 25-26 February, 2014. The Second Session of the Working Group was held in Delhi during 2-3 March, 2015 hosted by Department of Empowerment of Persons with Disabilities in association with UNESCAP Secretariat. Third and Fourth Session of the Working Group were held in Bangkok.
5. Subsequently, high-level inter-Governmental meeting was held on mid-point review of the Asia Pacific Decade for Persons with Disabilities in Beijing from 27th November to 1st December, 2017. After deliberations in the meeting, Beijing Declaration was adopted which outlines action plan for the State parties to achieve the targets of Incheon Strategy in the next five years.
Research and Development
The Department of Empowerment of Persons with Disabilities has launched a new Central sector scheme on “Research on disability related technology, products and issues‟. In January, 2015 with the objective to promote research of service models and programmes on the basis of life cycle needs, holistic development of the individuals and their families and creating an enabling environment for the empowerment of the persons with disabilities and promote research in prevention and prevalence of disability and the application of science & technology for the development of indigenous, appropriate aids and appliances.
The scheme has 2 components
(i) Research and Development of assistive technology and product development devices; and
(ii) Scheme for study/research/survey/internship and periodical collection of data related to disability. The State Governments, the national institutes under the Department have been requested to submit their proposal in accordance with the scheme. Until 2017-18 the scheme was implemented as a standalone scheme of the Department. From the year 2018-19 it has become part of the umbrella scheme SIPDA.
2. The Department has developed guidelines for grant of financial assistance for R&D projects under SIPDA.
3. During the year 2015-16, 22 proposals were received in the first phase out of which 4 proposals were approved by the Dept. However, only 2 agencies namely M/s Vision Foundation and AMU subsequently signed requisite agreement to undertake the project submitted by them. Accordingly, and amount of Rs. 4.80 lakhs has been released to these agencies. In the 2nd phase out of 13 proposals received in the dept. 6 proposals have been approved by the Steering Committee with a total; cost of about Rs. 99 lakhs. An amount of Rs. 40 lakhs will be released during the year 2015-16 for entrusting these 6 projects to the concerned agencies towards first instalment.