Answer Synopsis 18/12/2020

Question :Differently abled are among one of the most vulnerable sections of the society in the age of social dynamics. Comment. What are the measures taken by the government for the welfare of this section of people?

Structure of the answer

  • Write down how the differently abled are vulnerable to the changing situations in society.
  • Point out the various measures adopted by the government.

Synopsis

The changing social situations have caused many troubles to the differently abled. In various ways the changing situation thwarts the dreams of differently abled. The changing situation puts them prey to many issues such as:

Issues and Challenges faced by differently abled

  1. Health:
    • A large number of disabilities are preventable, including those arising from medical issues during birth, maternal conditions, malnutrition, as well as accidents and injuries.
    • However, the health sector especially in rural India has failed to react proactively to disability
    • Further there are lack of affordable access to proper health care, aids and appliances
    • Healthcare facilities and poorly trained health-workers in rehabilitation centres is another concern.
  2. Education:
    • The education system is not inclusive. Inclusion of children with mild to moderate disabilities in regular schools has remained a major challenge.
    • There are various issues such as availability special schools, access to schools, trained teachers, and availability of educational materials for the disabled.
    • Further, reservations for the disabled in higher educational institutions has not been fulfilled in many instances
  3. Employment:
    • Even though many disabled adults are capable of productive work, disabled adults have far lower employment rates than the general population.
    • The situation is even worse in the private sector, where much less disabled are employed
  4. Accessibility: Physical accessibility in buildings, transportation, access to services etc still remain a major challenge.
  5. Discrimination/Social    Exclusion:
    • Negative attitudes held by the families of the disabled, and often the disabled themselves, hinder disabled persons from taking an active part in the family, community or workforce.
    • Differently-abled people face discrimination in everyday life. People suffering from mental illness or mental retardation face the worst stigma and are subject to severe social exclusion.
  6. Inadequate data and statistics: The lack of rigorous and comparable data and statics further hinders inclusion of persons with disabilities. The major issues with collection of data and measuring disability are:
    • Difficult to define disability
    • Coverage: Different purposes require different disability data
    • Reluctance in reporting disability as disability is considered to be a stigma in many places/societies
  7. Poor implementation of policies and schemes hinders the inclusion of disabled persons. Though various acts and schemes have been laid down with an aim to empower the disabled, their enforcement face many challenges.

Programmes/initiatives for Disabled in India

  1. Accessible India Campaign : Creation of Accessible Environment for PwDs:
    • A nation-wide flagship campaign for achieving universal accessibility that will enable persons with disabilities to gain access for equal opportunity and live independently and participate fully in all aspects of life in an inclusive society.
    • The campaign targets at enhancing the accessibility of built environment, transport system and Information & communication ecosystem.
  2. DeenDayal Disabled Rehabilitation Scheme: Under the scheme financial assistance is provided to NGOs for providing various services to Persons with Disabilities, like special schools, vocational training centres, community based rehabilitation, pre-school and early intervention etc
  3. Assistance to Disabled Persons for Purchase / fitting of Aids and Appliances (ADIP): The Scheme aims at helping the disabled persons by bringing suitable, durable, scientifically-manufactured, modern, standard aids and appliances within their reach.
  4. National Fellowship for Students with Disabilities (RGMF)
    • The scheme aims to increase opportunities to students with disabilities for pursuing higher education.
    • Under the Scheme, 200 Fellowships per year are granted to students with disability.
  5. Schemes of the National Trust for the Welfare of Persons with Autism, Cerebral Palsy, Mental Retardation and Multiple Disabilities.

Anyhow we have to conclude that the programmes are below par compared to the schemes for other vulnerable groups and this group needs special care.

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