(GIST OF YOJANA) Social Empowerment for Differently Abled [AUGUST-2018]


(GIST OF YOJANA) Social Empowerment for Differently Abled

[AUGUST-2018]


Social Empowerment for Differently Abled

One of the largest minority groups in India, who have suffered long years of neglect, deprivation, segregation and exclusion are persons with disability (PwD). In India, disabled persons are still oppressed, marginalized and denied the opportunity for full citizenship and participation, and from living a reasonable quality of life because of society’s persistent stereotypical and prejudiced perception of them as inferior, incapable, inadequate, and a burden on the family resources and society. As per Census 2011, the number of persons with Disabilities in India is 268.14 lakhs constituting 2.21 per cent of the total population. The highest number of people with disabilities have locomotor (54.37) followed by hearing impairment (50.73) and visual impairment (50.33).

The changing focus among professionals in the field of disability rehabilitation today is on the rights of disabled persons, equalization of opportunities and their integration in mainstream society. It has now been officially recognised that people with disabilities are human beings with all the economic, emotional, physical, intellectual, spiritual, social and political needs that other people have. Though we have come a long way, we still have much to do to ensure an inclusive. barrier-free and rights based society for persons with disabilities through empowering them.

Government Initiative

In order to give focused attention to policy, issues and meaningful thrust to the activities, aimed at welfare and empowerment of the Persons with Disabilities, a separate Department for Empowerment of Persons with Disabilities was carved out of the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment on May 12, 2012. One of the main objectives of this department is rehabilitation at various aspects including social empowerment such as ADIP, SlPDA, DDRS along with other schemes.

Assistance to Disabled Persons

Under the ADIP scheme, grants in aids of Rs. 430.98 crores have been utilised during last three years (2014 to 2017) benefiting 7.03 lakh PwDs through 5265 camps across the India. For the first time, Cochlear Implant Programme under ADIP scheme was launched on the International Day of Persons with Disabilities, 2014 with empanelment of 172 hospitals across the country. During the period, about 794 cases of surgery (667 under ADIP and 127 under CSR) have been taken and all the cases are being extended post operative rehabilitation. Under ADIP scheme, the department also provides motorized tricycles costing Rs. 37,000/to Persons with Severe Disabilities at subsidised rate of Rs. 25000/each (the remaining Rs. 12,000/is arranged through MP LADS/MLA Fund/State Govt. Support/ Beneficiaries themselves). Thus, 3639 beneficiaries got motorcycles for last three years at a cost of Rs. 9.10 crore. Thus, these
aids/appliances help the people with disabilities to achieve more autonomy and mobility which leads to social participation and inclusion.

Technology Development Projects in Mission Mode

With a view to provide suitable and cost effective aids and appliances through the application of technology and to increase their employment opportunities and integration in society of the physically disabled, the above scheme was started during 1990-91. Under the scheme, suitable R&D projects are identified and funded for developing aids and appliances. The scheme is implemented through the HTS, Educational Institutes, Research Agencies and Voluntary Organisations etc. Financial assistance is provided on 100 per cent basis. The four Technical Advisory Groups monitor the selection of the projects and also their progress at different stages in areas of disabilities, namely, Orthopaedic (including Cerebral Palsy), Visual, Speech and Hearing and Mental. All the projects are those recommended by the respective Technical Advisory Groups placed before the Apex Level Committee headed by Secretary, Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment.

Inclusive Education for the Disabled at Secondary Stage (IEDSS)

This scheme supports children with disabilities aged 14 or above for completing their secondary education from Class 9 to Class 12 in government, local body and government aided schools. The scheme provides for identification of children with disabilities moving from elementary school to secondary and providing them with aids and appliances for their disabilities, access to learning material, transport facilities, hostel facilities, scholarships, books, assistive technologies and provision of scribes and readers. The students with disabilities also get various scholarships to complete higher education. This inclusive education helps the PwDs to participate with other non disabled people and paves the way for inclusion.

Accessible India Campaign

This campaign was launched by Prime Minister on 3.12.2015 for creating universal accessibility for PwDs in built environment, transport, information and communication technology (ICT) ecosystem. This campaign is based on the principles of social model of disability, that disability is caused by the way society is organised and not the person’s limitation and impairments. A team of experts are working extensively to conduct awareness programmes and workshops for sensitising all the main stakeholders including builders and activists. A web portal has also been created where people can upload pictures and comments on the accessibility of any building.

Implementation of Persons with Disabilities Act (SIPDA)

It is a wide ranging scheme, under which financial assistance is given for skill development, creation of barrier free environment, running some institutions in the field and other related activities relating to implementation of the Act. For example, this scheme provides barrier free environment in important government buildings for PwDs as per section 46 of the PwD Act. This includes provision of ramps, rails, lift, adoption of toilets for wheelchair users, braille signage, auditory signals and tactile flooring.

Deendayal Disabled Rehabilitation Scheme (DDRS)

Financial assistance is provided to NGOs for projects relating to rehabilitation of persons with disabilities; it is aimed at enabling them to reach and maintain their optimal physical, sensory, intellectual, psychological and/or social functional levels through 18 sub-components.

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Information, Communication and Technology (ICT)

A mobile app will be launched to provide information on disabled friendly public utilities in a city. Mobile communication also provides people with disabilities with many new possibilities; new devices are constantly developed in this field, such as speech-recognition programs for the computer. It will feature places like ATMs, banks, malls, toilets and will also have user-generated ratings of how disabled-friendly those places are.

Government is also planning to introduce set top boxes to make TV programmes more useful for persons with visual impairment. Currently there is only one news bulletin with sign language, the government will be training 200 persons in sign language every year for next five years. Sign languages will be introduced in more than 25 percent of the programmes, starting with Doordarshan to make television more disabled-friendly. Content on government websites will also be converted from text to speech mode through screen reader programmes for persons with visual impairment.

Awareness Generation and Publicity

The scheme was launched in 2014 with the objective of providing wide publicity including event based publicity etc. through electronic, print, film media, multi media to the schemes and programmes being run by the Central Government and State Government for the welfare of persons with disabilities, to create an enabling environment for social inclusion of the PwDs, to disseminate information about the legal rights of the PwDs, to sensitize the employers and other similar groups on the special needs of the specially abled persons, to develop content for rehabilitation of different types of disabilities, provide helpline and so on.

Conclusion

Social empowerment is indispensable to achieving quality of life for people with disabilities and it is both a continuous process as well as a result. Social empowerment is typically implemented at the four following levels: (I) the individual level where the person values him/ herself and actively wants to participate in life, (2) family level-where the family gets guidance and support for social rehabilitation of their members with disabilities (3) community level where awareness programme can be conducted. Social support from the community along with government policies leads to social inclusion where a person is encouraged to thrive in his/her personal situation and inclusive environment and (4) social policies level impacting local and national level actions to promote social equity and inclusion of all persons with disabilities. Though social empowerment can be achieved through other areas of practice, such as inclusive education and socioeconomic integration, it is also a specific area of practice where tools, methods and approaches exist to facilitate social inclusion. Thus, social policies and facilities can become effective tools to encourage people with disabilities to acquire social empowerment.

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